After eight straight days of temperatures reaching at least 43 C (110 F) in New Delhi, rain dashed the heat on Thursday.
While the high still climbed to 41 C (106 F) on Thursday, more rain and clouds drastically cut temperatures across the capital region on Friday. Through 4 p.m. local time, the high was only 35 C (95 F).
The clouds and rain have been aided by a moist southwest flow. The moist flow, combined with the extreme heat that built across the region, set the stage for rain and thunderstorms Thursday into Friday.
Another benefit of the lower temperatures is less demand on the stressed power grid of northern India. The power demand lowered Thursday according to The Times of India. Further reductions in demand are expected through the weekend as temperatures hover closer to normal.
Lower power demand will hopefully limit the widespread blackouts that have taken place across northern India over the past week inciting protests.
While periods of heat are expected over the next month, ahead of the monsoon, the worst of the heat has likely ended as a slowly increasing threat for thunderstorms will limit any long-duration heat waves.
The normal start of the monsoon in the New Delhi region is late in June. The monsoon has been behind schedule across southern and eastern India, and this trend is expected to continue across the north, with the onset likely closer to beginning of July.
Another concern is that a weak monsoon is expected with sporadic rains which may lead to a widespread drought later this year in northwest India and Pakistan. Impacts will range from damaged agriculture to low water supplies, affecting millions of people.