New Delhi: The much-awaited pre-monsoon showers lashed the capital on Friday with drizzling continuing on Saturday, bringing relief to Delhiites bearing with scorching heat for over a month.

Medium to heavy rains lashed most parts of the city at around 6 PM and continued for over an hour, leading to traffic snarls at major traffic intersections. Hundreds of people getting back home from office were stranded on roads across the capital.

The sudden rains in the morning and evening brought smiles on the faces of denizens who were desperately waiting for monsoon rains to hit the capital.

MeT office said it was pre-monsoon rains and the annual monsoon is expected to hit the capital by tomorrow. "The monsoon is very close to Delhi," S C Bhan, Director of Indian Metreological Department said.

The sudden rains also led to waterlogging and traffic snarls in areas like Laxmi Nagar, Parliament Street, ITO and R K Puram. While the maximum temperature was recorded at 38.4 degrees Celsius, two degrees above normal, the minimum settled at 29.1 degrees Celsius.

Residents were eagerly waiting for rain as the city had been reeling under severe heat wave with the maximum temperature staying over 40 degrees Celsius for the whole of June and July until now.

The normal onset date for south-west monsoon in the capital is June 29. But last year, it reached Delhi ahead of schedule on June 26 but in 2010, it had a late arrival on July five.

The earliest onset of monsoon over Delhi during the past 30 years was on June 15, 2008 and while the most delayed onset was on July 26, 1987. During monsoon, the Weatherman says, if the city gets 645.7 mm of rains, it is considered normal for the capital.

However this June, Delhi received only one-sixth of the rains.

(JPN)

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