A day after Diwali, Delhi and the national capital region on Sunday witnessed light to heavy rainfall under the influence of a fresh Western Disturbance, leading to a slight drop in the temperatures and bringing respite from rising pollution levels, according to India Meteorological Department.

Higher wind speed aided dispersion of pollutants and the maximum wind speed was around 25 km per hour, IMD officials said. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded 0.4 mm rainfall. The weather stations at Palam, Lodhi Road, Ridge, Jafarpur, Najafgarh and Pusa recorded 1.8 mm, 0.3 mm, 1.2 mm, 1mm, 1mm and 2.5 mm rainfall respectively.

However, the air quality continued to remain in the ‘severe’ category at ITO, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Sunday evening. The AQI in the NCR dripped drastically after residents defied government’s ban on fire crackers on Diwali.

Fairly widespread rain was also recorded in several other states including Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, and few parts of Uttar Pradesh, which should help improve air quality, an IMD official said. Isolated parts of Rajasthan received light rainfall with hailstorm and the weather department has predicted light showers at a few areas in the state on Monday.

Several parts of Haryana including Ambala also witnessed rainfall on Sunday and IMD has predicted generally cloudy sky with one or two spells of rain or thundershowers with a minimum temperature of 14 degrees Celsious and a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius tomorrow.

The India Meteorological Department had earlier predicted that fresh western disturbance will likely increase the wind speed and improve the air quality in Delhi-NCR and neighbouring areas on Sunday and Monday.

V K Soni, the head of the IMD’s environment research centre, also said that high-velocity east-southeasterly winds (gusting up to 40 kilometre per hour) will disperse the pollutants and there will be significant improvement in the national capital’s air quality by Monday.

Rains also lashed most parts of Jammu on Sunday, ending over two-month-long dry spell but engulfing the region in cold as the day temperature plummeted seven degrees below normal during this part of the season, officials said. There were also reports of snowfall from the high-altitude areas including the Peer Ki Gali along the Mughal Road, an alternative road link between Kashmir and the rest of the country, which remained closed for the second day on Sunday.

Jammu city recorded a high of 19.7 degrees Celsius, which is 7.6 degrees below normal during this part of the season, while the night temperature appreciated due to cloud cover and settled at 14.7 degrees Celsius — 1.3 degrees above normal, a spokesman of the MeT department said. He said the weather is expected to improve gradually from November 17 onwards.

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