Heavy rainfall and hailstorm, preceded by thundersquall ripped through Bhopal on Saturday afternoon, throwing life out of gear for about an hour.
Though Saturday morning was sunny, clouds started gathering in the sky since afternoon and by 3pm, dense clouds had covered the city sky. Later, the weather changed drastically and Bhopal witnessed dust storm, thunder and lightning. Soon, hailstones lashed some parts of the city, followed by heavy showers.
Branches of trees broke and hoardings were damaged at several places in the city. A tree branch fell on a car in front of Betwa apartment as a result of high-velocity winds, although no damage was reported. An official at the Meteorological office in the city said that winds blew at a speed of 30-35km per hour.
The rainfall that lasted for just about half-an-hour was so heavy that most of the roads were water-logged within no time, impeding traffic in major junctions like Jyoti Talkies Square, Board Office Square and Habibganj underbridge among other places.
Power disruption was also reported from some areas, though conditions normalised by 6pm when the rainfall and thunderstorm ceased.
Pedestrians rushed for shelter as hailstorm accompanied the heavy rain. The hailstones that hit the city initially were about 2 to 3mm in size, but their size reduced as the rain intensified.
The Arera Hills observatory of Regional Meteorological Centre recorded 35mm of rainfall in Bhopal city in half-an-hour. The observatory at Bhopal airport, however, recorded only 8mm of rain.
The thunderstorm activity was attributed to local conditions spurred by presence of an upper air cyclonic circulation system over southwest Madhya Pradesh. "The system was over northeast Rajasthan but has now moved to MP. This would lead to thunderstorm activities and rainfall in isolated places of southwest parts of the state," director of Regional Meteorological Centre, Anupam Kashyapi told HT.
He added that such activity, particularly during the afternoon or evening hours, was expected in some parts of Madhya Pradesh including Bhopal for the next one or two days.