The city was taken by surprise on Friday by sudden squalls in the evening. The rain and dust storm hit the city at 5 pm, posing problems for those returning from office.
“As soon as I stepped outside office, it started raining heavily. I was drenched within two minutes,” said Shalini Wadhwa, a private bank employee who works in Connaught Place.
Some parts of the city also witnessed a hailstorm for a few minutes. The Met Department said the rain showers and winds were not an indication of an early winter.
“This is just a temporary development. Winter is expected to set in only in December,” said BP Yadav, director, Weather Forecast, Meteorological Department.
“The mist in the morning is also expected to dissipate after tomorrow (Saturday),” he added.
The Met Department attributed the phenomenon to the western disturbance over part of Punjab and Haryana. Western Disturbance is an extra-tropical storm originating in Mediterranean that brings winter rains and snow to subcontinent's north-western parts.
The city received 6 mm of rainfall during the squall. “The winds were so strong that I could barely walk. The weather was freaky,” said Raashi Bhatia, a resident of IP Extension.
The strong winds also brought down a mobile transmission tower in Sector 6, Rohini. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi received 10 complaints of waterlogging from areas such as Kashmere Gate and Bhajanpura. Twenty-five reports of fallen trees were also received.
Traffic jams were seen on Akbar Road, Ashoka Road Britania Chowk and many parts of the Ring Road, Ashoka Road and Britania Chowk.
The bad weather also affected air traffic in the city as six flights were diverted and more than 25 got delayed.
“The visibility reduced to 2,000 metres and there was dust all around. The strong wind was followed by thunderstorm and the flight movements were affected. Those who were running out of fuel were diverted to Jaipur,” said a Met department official.
Sources said that 9W-2288 (Patna-Delhi), 9W-2280 (Bagdogra-Delhi), 9W-724 (Varanasi-Delhi), S2-218 (Vishakhapatnam-Delhi), G8-154 (Jammu-Delhi) and 9W-261 (Kathmandu-Delhi) were diverted to Jaipur.