Thundershowers, dust storm likely to hit north India from April 15 to 17

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NEW DELHI: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted dust storms and thundershowers between April 15 and April 17 in most parts of northwest India, including Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, J&K and Rajasthan, because of a combination of weather factors.
The root cause for such weather, rare for this time of the year, is a western disturbance – a storm with cold air at its core that originates in the Mediterranean region and brings rain to north and northwestern India.
On Saturday, a western disturbance brought widespread rain and thundershowers over J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand that are likely to continue until Tuesday.
According to IMD’s weather bulletin, a “western disturbance is likely to affect the western Himalayan region and northwest India from April 15 and cause enhanced rainfall activity with probable thundersqualls and hailstorms over Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh on April 16.”
States in the Northeast also experienced thundershowers on Saturday, including Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya.
Thunderstorms with wind speeds of 50-60 kmph struck parts of Bihar, Kerala, interior Karnataka, Telangana, Jharkhand, central Maharashtra, Marathwada, MP, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal and Sikkim.
They are likely to continue on Sunday.
“In the next four to five days almost all parts of the country will be affected by thundershowers; it will intensify over northwest India on April 16 and 17,” said Charan Singh, a scientist at IMD.
Explaining the combination of factors causing the thundershowers and dust storms, he said, “There is moisture coming in from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea which, combined with the high temperatures, is causing thundershowers in the rest of the country, while in northwest India, a western disturbance will be bringing dust storms and squally winds. We can also expect snowfall in the higher reaches of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir and hailstorms in northern Punjab and Haryana.”
Dry thunderstorms or dust storms expected in the National Capital Region (NCR) centred on Delhi would not bring any change in temperature, said Soma Sen Roy, another IMD scientist.
She added, “There is moisture convergence because of an east-west trough and north-south trough. The moisture convergence over heated terrain brings thundershowers. But in Delhi and the rest of northwest India, it’s the consecutive western disturbances that are inducing thunderstorms. We are not expecting a temperature drop in Delhi or neighbouring areas because of this activity.”
On Monday, dust storms in Delhi and other parts of northwest India will likely be accompanied by squally winds with speeds of 40-50 kmph, according to IMD.
On Tuesday, wind speeds during dust storms could reach 60-70 kmph over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan, West Uttar Pradesh, West Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. Thundershowers on Wednesday will be limited to Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and parts of Uttar Pradesh.

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