After a sweltering afternoon, heavy rains accompanied with squally winds and thunder, lightning lashed Delhi NCR, especially central and south Delhi, on Monday evening, not just bringing down the mercury but also leading to flooded roads, traffic jams and uprooted trees.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) data showed there was 17.8 mm rainfall at Safdarjung – city’s base station – between 2.30 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. During the same time, Palam recorded 0.4 mm, Lodhi Road 20 mm, Ridge (north Delhi) 15 mm & Aya Nagar (south Delhi) recorded 3.8 mm rainfall.
“Squally winds of 100 kmph were reported at Safdarjung. The fall in temperature was around 13 degrees Celsius at Palam and 15 degrees at Safdarjung. From 4.20 p.m. till 5.40 p.m., the temperature at Safdarjung went down from 40 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius,” IMD scientists said.
Delhi NCR residents were caught off guard as prior to the heavy rains, the sky became dark in no time around 4 p.m. and strong winds blew resulting in a dust storm after which it started downpour in no time. Hails were reported from central Delhi and many other parts too. Much of these took place in east and central Delhi and some in south Delhi, IMD records showed.
“It was like a scene from a nature documentary. Streaks of lightning, strong winds, then large drops of rain, hail too, tree branches creaking and falling. And in no time, the roads were flooded. It got over in 10 minutes or so, the roads were flooded. Not even a drizzle after that,” said Rekha Deshmukh on her experience about her drive on the Akbar Road amid heavy rain and squally winds.
While central Delhi received the maximum rains and bore the brunt of squally winds – over a dozen places reported uprooting of large trees with some causing damage to two-wheelers, four-wheelers parked below them – other parts of Delhi too received rainfall accompanied with strong winds, thunder and lightning.
At around 5 p.m., parts of Noida and Faridabad in the NCR experienced strong winds of 60-70 kmph with light to moderate rains.
“There is a Western Disturbance as a cyclonic storm over north Pakistan and neighbourhood; induced cyclonic circulation over northwest Rajasthan and adjoining Pakistan and an east-west trough extending from northwest Rajasthan till north Bangladesh across south Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that has led to this rainfall,” said another IMD scientist.
Earlier, the IMD NowCast (Forecast for next three hours) at about 4 p.m. had said, “Thunderstorm/dust storm with light to moderate intensity rain and gusty winds with speed of 50-60 kmph would occur over and adjoining areas of entire Delhi and NCR, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Manesar, Faridabad, Ballabhgarh, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Charkhi and several other places surrounding the NCR.”