Darkness descended on Chandigarh and its adjoining towns of Panchkula and Mohali on Wednesday afternoon as a dust storm swept the region before a surprise spell of rain.
Cities in Punjab, including Jalandhar and Amritsar, witnessed a storm followed by rain in the morning.
In a freak accident, a candidate taking part in the army recruitment rally in Pathankot was killed when a tree fell on him at the venue following the storm.
Shimla and other towns of Himachal Pradesh witnessed a hailstorm and rain since the morning, bringing down the mercury all of a sudden.
According to Chandigarh-based meteorological department chief Surender Paul, “The sudden change in weather is due to western disturbances.”
The Met office had forecast partly cloudy sky with the possibility of rain and thundershowers during the day.
While residents in Shimla and hill towns of Himachal Pradesh reached out for their woollens, schoolchildren returning home were caught unawares when showers lashed Chandigarh and its adjoining towns in the afternoon.