A squall, with wind speed reaching 81 kilometres per hour, hit Delhi-NCR on Friday. The squall started at 5.33 pm and lasted for about two minutes. Within these two minutes, the temperature dropped by 4.6 degrees — from 33° Celsius to 28.4° Celsius.
The dust storm and following rain, however, lasted for almost two hours. An official at the India Meteorological Department said, “Similar weather, with thunderstorm and light rain, is expected on Saturday. Sunday and Monday will not see rain but skies will be partly cloudy.”
The storm also threw traffic out of gear, with some signals malfunctioning, leading to long jams. Visibility, too, dipped drastically. At the Delhi airport, 19 incoming flights had to be diverted because of the sudden change in weather.
“Visibility dipped to 900 metres between 5.30 pm-6 pm — down from 3,500 metres before the storm. The maximum wind speed at the airport was between 60-70 kmph,” said R K Jenamani, IGI Airport Met centre in-charge.
IMD officials said the storm was caused by three different systems — a western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, a cyclonic circulation over western UP and Haryana, and an East-West low pressure trough running from Rajasthan to Jharkhand.
“A mixture of high temperature and moisture laden winds usually results in a squall, like the one seen on Friday,” the official said. On Saturday, the maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to be 35 and 23° Celsius.