Dust storm, strong winds, light rain hits Delhi, NCR

Thunderstorm and squall likely in north Indian hill states from Sunday predicts IMD

The runways at IGI Airport were shut between 5:15 pm and 6:50 pm as the strong dust storm swept across Delhi, severely limiting visibility.

On Saturday evening, Ludhiana in Punjab experienced a sudden change in weather which led to almost night-like skies. U.P. was the worst affected, accounting for 80 deaths, a lot of them in Agra district. Dust and cloud suddenly turned the sky dark and rain, accompanied with strong wind, came soon after.

Almost 50 flights were affected after operations at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport came to a halt for almost 40 minutes due to a storm in the national capital on Sunday.

Yesterday, the maximum settled at a whopping 43.2 degrees Celsius at the Palam observatory with the minimums today being recorded at 28.8 degrees, both three degrees above the normal levels.

People have been complaining of delay in Metro services and the hailstorm disrupted electric supply in parts of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The minimum temperature recorded at 8.30 AM was 26.7 degrees Celsius, a notch above normal, a Meteorological Department official said. On Wesnesday, five people died in Etawah district, three each in Mathura, Aligarh and Agra, two in Firozabad and one each in Hathras and Kanpur Dehat.

The strong winds knocked down almost 200 trees in the city. At least 40 flights were diverted and more than 24 delayed, an official said. The dust storm interrupted a programme Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was to attend in east Delhi's IP Extension.

A few passenger and freight trains were held up for around 25 minutes because of the disruption.

A squall and sudden dust storm with a wind speed of up to 109 kmph accompanied by light rain hit Delhi this evening after a scorching day, a Met department official said.

"A cyclonic circulation formed near Haryana and north Rajasthan along with the western disturbance".

Similar weather conditions were reported from nearby areas such as Faridabad, Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad.

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