Dark skies, thunder, lightning and rainfall greeted Delhiites hurriedly leaving their offices for home on Tuesday.
The city got its share of much-awaited rainfall that also brought down the temperature.
“The squall was the result of a western disturbance that brought rain to north India,” said a senior MeT official.The good news is that the rains are expected to continue till Saturday. Temperature, too, is expected to come down a notch.
On Tuesday, the maximum temperature was recorded at 37.8 degrees, four degrees above normal, while the minimum was recorded at 22.3 degrees, three degrees above normal.
The rain gauges received 4.2mm of rainfall throughout the day. “The winds and rains will certainly bring down the temperature. The humidity, however, may increase,” the official added.
Though the sudden thunderstorm and rain brought respite to Delhiites from the scorching heat, those travelling by road and air were not very pleased.
Hundreds of commuters on their way home were caught in the dust storm and the heavy rains that led to water logging at several places. The showers also led to traffic jams on several arterial roads during the peak evening hours.
Major traffic jams were reported at Dhaula Kuan, Ring Road (from Nehru Place to Chirag Dilli), Akshardham flyover, ITO, Connaught Place, Race Course Road and several other stretches. Waterlogging was found at Dhaula Kuan underpass, ITO and Chirag Dilli, police said.
“I live in Dwarka, so I walk to the Rajiv Chowk Metro station from my office at Barakhamba Road. Usually it takes me 7 to 10 minutes. But on Tuesday, it took me an hour and I was completely drenched by the time I got there. Even the train was jam packed,” said Ashi Saxena, a resident of Dwarka.
Passengers at the Indira Gandhi International Airport did not have an easier time either. Many flights were delayed and 18 had to be diverted to other airports due to the bad weather.
Many arrivals and departures during the peak evening hours were delayed by one to two hours due to the dust storm and strong winds in the city.
“The airport witnessed wind speed of 100km per hour and the dust storm reduced visibility between 4.45pm and 5.30pm. It was accompanied by lightning and loud thunder, which affected flight operations,” said RK Jenamani, director-in-charge, IGIA met unit.
Trains and Metro trains, however, ran on schedule.