Frequent extreme weather conditions, including thunderstorms, are likely to prevail in North India in the coming days, according to an advisory issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). IMD has predicted thunderstorms and gusty winds for the next three days in most parts of the country.
On Friday, thunderstorms, strong winds, and hail storms are likely to hit isolated places in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, and parts of North West India.
Further, thunderstorms accompanied with gusty winds are also expected to hit several places in South India, including Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
Delhi and adjoining areas in Northern India have been facing repeated warnings and thunderstorms for the past two weeks.
According to a report published by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), 80 people were killed in a thunderstorm that hit five states including New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, and Uttarakhand on May 13.
Two weeks before this devastation, dust storms and thunderstorms claimed 134 lives and injured 400 people in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and Punjab.
What the latest prediction says
Thunderstorm in UP: Thunderstorm and squall are "very likely" to hit some areas of eastern Uttar Pradesh on Friday, according to a release by the meteorological office.
It said the districts that could be affected are Siddhartnagar, Kushinagar, and Maharajganj.
In its forecast, the Met office said rain and thunderstorm are very likely at isolated places over east Uttar Pradesh and the weather is likely to remain dry over the western part of the state.
Thunderstorm, gusty wind to hit several other places in North India: Not only UP, but other states in North India are also expected to witness extreme weather conditions in the next three days.
Thunderstorms, strong winds, and hail storms are likely to hit isolated places in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, and parts of North West India, according to an IMD release.
IMD scientist K Sathidevi said,"There is a probability of thunderstorm, strong winds and hailstorms in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan, Delhi and parts of North West India for three days. Dust storm in Rajasthan is also possible."
Thunderstorm likely at isolated places in Southern India: Thunderstorms, accompanied by gusty winds, are also expected to hit several places in the southern part of the country today.
"Thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds very likely at isolated places over... Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Coastal Karnataka, South Interior Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Kerala, and Lakshadweep," IMD said in a release.
Gusty winds swept across the national capital on Thursday.
The maximum temperature settled at 41.8 degrees Celsius, two notches above the season's average, while the minimum settled at 26.1 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the year, said a Met department official.
The humidity oscillated between 60 and 17 per cent.
North India witnessing unusual weather condition: Experts
According to weather experts, something is unusual about the summer this year.
The month of May, which is not yet over, has so far witnessed three western disturbances, leading to furious thunderstorms and dust storms across swathes of northern India in which more than 150 people have died.
Thunderstorms, dust storms, rainfall during summers have been a normal phenomenon in northern India. "But not of this severity. The frequency of western disturbance is unusually high," said Mahesh Pahlawat, vice-president (Meteorology and Climate Change) at Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency.
Why North India is witnessing extreme weather conditions
Mritunjay Mohapatra, additional director general of India Meteorological Department, said the frequent western disturbances are one of the main reasons for the thunderstorms and dust storms.
A western disturbance originates in the Mediterranean Sea and brings rainfall to northwestern India.
"This is all the game of moisture," L S Rathore, former IMD director general, said.
The western disturbance brings moisture, which helps in the formation of clouds, Rathore added.
Western Rajasthan and adjoining parts of Pakistan are witnessing unusually high temperatures. Cyclonic circulation resulting from the western disturbances add to the intensity.
Western disturbance is a normal phenomenon that can be observed over the western Himalayas and north Indian plains from October to March. However, what is unusual is its occurrence in April-May.
"Usually, as the sun enters the northern hemisphere, the western disturbance shifts to upper latitude, north of India. However this year, the western disturbance continued over northern India and the western Himalayas," Pahlawat said.
To make matters worse, the western disturbances this month were aided by easterlies -- moisture-laden winds coming from the Bay of Bengal.
"It still remains a question on why western disturbance has been occurring so frequently over the western Himalayas and north India. It could be because of changing weather pattern that takes places every six-seven years," Pahlawat said.
With agency inputs