NEW DELHI: Delhi recorded the warmest February in the past 17 years with a mean maximum temperature of 27.7 degrees Celsius. It was 3.5 degrees above normal. This February witnessed the third highest average maximum temperature since 1951. Even the average minimum temperature in February 2023 at 11.2 degrees Celsius was the highest since 2017.According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), between 1951 and 2023, the highest average maximum temperature in February was recorded in 2006 at 29.7 degrees Celsius. The second highest mean maximum temperature in the same month was reported in 1960 at 27.9 degrees Celsius.IMD scientist Kuldeep Srivastava said, “This February saw high temperatures because no active western disturbance impacted the plains of north-west India. Due to this, not a single rainy day was recorded. Since there were clear skies on most days, the solar light through the day led to a rise in temperature.”IMD’s data shows that on February 20, the highest maximum temperature was 33.6 degrees Celsius, nine degrees above normal, making it the warmest February day since 2006. This February saw temperatures four to nine degrees above normal on most days. Even temperature hovered in the range of 29-33 degrees Celsius in the past 10 days of the month.“The first half of February saw temperatures fluctuating above normal to near normal. However, the temperature in the second half of February usually remained on a higher side,” said Srivastava.In contrast, February last year recorded a mean maximum temperature at 24.2 degrees Celsius and it saw two ‘cold’ days.The data of the meteorological department shows that Delhi recorded a dry spell this month and no rain activity was recorded. Before this, February 2018 and 2017 recorded no rain day. An analysis of IMD data of the past 20 years shows that Delhi recorded high temperatures in February in 2018, 2017 and 2006 when no rainfall was recorded. February 2021, which was the second warmest in this decade, saw scanty rainfall.Apart from day temperature, the nights were warm. The mean minimum temperature in February this year was 11.2 degrees Celsius, which was 0.6 degrees higher than normal. The last time the city recorded a higher average mean temperature in February was in 2017 at 11.7 degrees Celsius.Expect light rain todayThe city saw a cloudy Tuesday and the Met department expects light rain at some places on Wednesday. According to IMD, light rain may occur under the influence of western disturbance. Due to the cloudy sky and possibility of drizzle, the daytime temperature may drop on Wednesday. The maximum and minimum temperatures on Wednesday are likely to hover around 31 and 14 degrees Celsius, respectively.