The skies turned dark grey and strong winds whipped up dust storms across the national capital and neighbouring areas on Thursday, affecting visibility.
This is the second spell of dust storms to hit Delhi and nearby areas in less than a week. Heavy rains and hail were also reported at isolated places, especially in North Delhi, weather experts said.
A few areas reported incidents of uprooting of trees that damaged power lines and vehicles. Delhi residents shared videos of rain water gushing into balconies and plumes of dust engulfing the streets on social media.
Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the regional forecasting centre of the IMD, said it was a result of a fresh western disturbance. Winds gusting up to 60 kilometers per hour barrelled through the national capital whipping up dust storms. A few areas witnessed hailstorm, Srivastava said.
Gusty winds and rains led to a significant drop in the mercury especially in North Delhi. The temperatures dropped by at least two notches elsewhere, he said.
The IMD scientist said dust storms and hail storms are a common occurance in the period between April 15 and June 15 in entire northwest India.
Cumulonimbus clouds due to western disturbance and induced cyclonic circulation over Punjab and Haryana led to dust storms and hail storms in parts of Delhi, Mahesh Palawat of Skymet Weather, a private forecasting service, said.
Northwest India hasn't witnessed a heatwave so far -- the reason being frequent western disturbances this year, he said.