TRICITY RESIDENTS who had almost packed up their woollens had to reach for them again Saturday morning as rain, accompanied by strong winds, and briefly in some parts, hail, pelted down on the Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali, bringing back a nip in the air after weeks of warm days.
The Met department said there was “moderate to heavy intermittent rain accompanied by strong winds.” But those awake around midnight on Friday heard a howling, high speed wind unleash itself on Tricity with full force, followed by rain, thunder and lightning. Although the wind calmed down after a few minutes, people woke up to a rainy day, broken only by hail in the afternoon.
The maximum recorded temperature in Chandigarh on Saturday was 20.7 degree Celsius, six degrees below normal. So far in 2016, the city has experienced only above normal temperatures. Even on Friday, the maximum recorded temperature in the city was 27.6 degrees, one degree above normal. The minimum recorded temperature was, however, 16.4 degrees on Saturday, four degrees above normal.
According to officials from the Chandigarh Meteorological Department, there has been an overall dip of three-four degrees in the minimum recorded temperatures in Punjab and Haryana, whereas a dip of five- eight degrees has been recorded in the maximum temperatures in the two states. Along with Chandigarh, areas in Bathinda, Mohali, Jalandhar, Patiala, Ludhiana, Ambala, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Hisra and Sirsa were also hit by heavy rains and thundershowers on Saturday.
On Saturday, a maximum wind speed of 38 kmph was witnessed in Chandigarh, along with a strong hailstorm at around 4:30 PM. According to the Met department, in the next 24 hours, the wind speed is likely to oscillate between 35 kmph to 55 kmph. The Chandigarh Meteorological Department has issued an advisory to the farming community. Late on Friday night, trees were also uprooted in Chandigarh due to the winds.
A Met official said, “Rain and thundershowers can be expected in the city for the next 24-48 hours, accompanied by hailstorms in certain regions. The rain is likely to subside on Monday. Clear sky can be expected only after March 15. Cloudy conditions will persist in the city.”