The sudden change of weather forced Delhi airport authorities to divert at least 10 domestic flights; 26 districts of U.P. warned of thunderstorm on May 14.
Nearly 50 flights were affected after operations at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport came to a halt for nearly 40 minutes due to a storm in the national capital on Sunday.
A total of 31 domestic flights and six international flights were delayed after the storm hit Delhi early evening. 10 domestic flights were also diverted to nearby airports.
“There were no arrivals or departures for 40 minutes. This is likely to lead to consequential delays”, said an airport official.
“IGI witnessed moderate thunderstorm and squall. While visibility was within acceptable limits at 1500 metre, winds were blowing at 52 knots impacting flight operations,” according to IMD Director R K Jenamani.
However, the relief to Delhi residents came after a sweltering day, when the maximum temperature had reached 40.6°C, a notch above the normal, the meteorological department official said. Humidity during the morning hours was recorded at 60%, the official added.
The India Meteorological Department on May 12 predicted that Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh would witness thunderstorm accompanied by squall. Its forecast said parts of Rajasthan might also see dust storm.
Thunderstorm over these hill States and its subsequent effect on plains in North India is due to a new western disturbance, the IMD had said.
“Thunderstorm accompanied with gusty winds are also very likely at isolated places over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, west Uttar Pradesh, Vidharbha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Telangana, north coastal Andhra Pradesh, south interior Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Lakshadweep and Kerala,” the IMD had said in an advisory said.
Thunderstorm warning for 26 U.P. districts
Meanwhile, the weather office has warned that thunderstorm and dust storm with wind speeds of up to 70 km per hour were “very likely” on May 14 in 26 districts of Uttar Pradesh.
It said the districts that could be affected are: Bahraich, Shrawasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Siddharth Nagar, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Sant Kabir Nagar, Basti, Faizabad, Sultanpur, Azamgargh, Ambedkar Nagar, Mau, Deoria, Ballia, Ghazipur, Jaunpur, Pratapgargh, Allahabad, Sant Ravidas Nagar, Varanasi, Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra.
The IMD has also forecast rain in isolated parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh and said the weather is most likely to remain dry in western U.P.
On May 9, several parts of the State were hit by a severe storm that left 18 dead and 27 others injured. Five people died in Etawah district, three each in Mathura, Aligarh and Agra, two in Firozabad and one each in Hathras and Kanpur Dehat.
Thunderstorms and lightning on May 2-3 killed 134 people and injured over 400 in U.P., Rajasthan, Telangana, Utttarakhand and Punjab. U.P. was the worst affected, accounting for 80 deaths, most of them in Agra district.