Rain cools parts of North India

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New Delhi, May 16 (UNI) Rain and thundershowers cooled parts of North India today, pulling down the maximum temperature and giving people the first whiff of approaching monsoon.

Scaterred rain was reported in Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi besides almost the entire Eastern Uttar Pradesh. The Kashmir Valley was lashed by rain and hailstorm, a report from Srinagar said.

A squall disrupted electricity supply in Srinagar this afternoon.

The maximum temperature fell 7 to 8 degrees Celsius below normal in Eastern Uttar Pradesh where almost all stations reported rain, the Met office said.

The maximum temperature was in the 31-33 degrees Celsius range in Eastern UP. ''It has become pleasant there. Lucknow (31 degrees) and Allahabad (33 degrees) are relatively cool right now,'' he said.

Pilani in Rajasthan's Shekhawati belt (13.2 mm), state capital Jaipur (0.5 mm), Hisar (3.3), Bhiwani (both Haryana), Ghaziabad, Noida (UP) and East Delhi also recorded some rain in this period.

The maximum and minimum day temperatures in Delhi were two degrees below normal at 38.2 degrees Celsius and 25.2 degrees Celsius respectively.

The rainfall occurred because ''south easterlies are penetrating North Rajasthan and Punjab'', the weatherman said. The weather phenomenon, persisting for the last one week, was expected to continue for the next 48 hours, he said.

Temperatures -- currently 1-2 degrees below normal in Delhi and adjoining areas and 7-8 degrees below normal in East UP -- will rise once the weather system changes, he added.

Experts say such localised weather phenomenon is normal in the pre-monsoon months.

The Met department has forecast that the south-west monsoon will hit the Kerala coast on May 30 this year, two days ahead of its normal onset date of June 1 in the state.

According to the Srinagar report, the temperature hovered around 30 degrees celsius over the past few days in the Kashmir Valley and today's rain brought much-needed relief to the people.

Reports of heavy rain were received from almost all the district headquarters and towns of the Valley, it said, adding that tourists were seen enjoying the pleasant weather at the Dal Lake and the Mughal Gardens.

However, farmers expressed concern over the hailstorm, saying it will damage several crops, including cherry.


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