Home-bound traffic was caught off guard as a dust storm, accompanied with light rain, and thunderstorm at some places, hit Delhi NCR on Monday night, making street vendors, rickshaw pullers and pedestrians scurrying for shelter.
Wind speeds reached up to 40-50 kmph (60 kmph gusty) around Palam, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD). The temperature at Safdarjung and Palam came down from 37.2 degrees Celsius and 30.6 degrees Celsius, respectively, at 8.30 p.m. to 31 degrees Celsius and 29.8 degrees Celsius, respectively, at 11.30 p.m.
Although for many Delhi NCR citizens it was a sudden development, the IMD had however, predicted earlier that under the influence of a Western Disturbance, light isolated to scattered rainfall, accompanied with isolated thunderstorm/lightning, was very likely over Western Himalayan Region, which in turn, would result into dust storm/thunderstorm over adjoining plains of Punjab, Haryana, and west Rajasthan on Monday.
Meanwhile, Safdarjung – the base station for Delhi – recorded maximum temperature at 40.6 degrees Celsius while across Delhi NCR, the maximum remained in the range of 39.6 degrees Celsius to 42.2 degrees Celsius.
The IMD has predicted a mainly clear sky with maximum and minimum temperatures to be around 42 and 24 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, it has also predicted that gradual rise in maximum temperatures by 2-3 degrees Celsius is very likely over most parts of northwest India during the next three days. Heat wave conditions are likely to prevail over Punjab, south Haryana and Delhi, east Rajasthan, south Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Vidarbha during April 27-29.