A powerful dust storm lashed out in Delhi National Capital Region on early Wednesday morning. The storm struck Delhi NCR at around 3 AM on 16 May.

As many as 80 people were killed in five states due to thunderstorms and lightning since 13 May, Sunday, with Uttar Pradesh alone recording 51 deaths, the Home Ministry said on Monday.

Meanwhile, six more deaths, including a girl aged under four, were reported from the state of Bihar, parts of which were lashed by a thunderstorm that uprooted trees, electric poles and billboards.

The IMD again issued an advisory of a thunderstorm accompanied with squall and hail with wind speed reaching 50-70 kilometers per hour being “very likely” at isolated places over Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Gangetic West Bengal on Tuesday.

Why Dust Storms Happen

The month of May, which is not yet over, has so far witnessed three western disturbances, leading to furious thunderstorms and dust storms across swathes of northern India in which more than 150 people have died.

Thunderstorms, dust storms, rainfall during summers have been a normal phenomenon in northern India.”But not of this severity. The frequency of western disturbance is unusually high,” said Mahesh Pahlawat, vice-president (Meteorology and Climate Change) at Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency.

The thunderstorms on 2 and 3 May and 13 and 14 May saw wind gusting at more than 100 kmph. More than 150 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan due to the freak weather phenomenon.A western disturbance originates in the Mediterranean Sea and brings rainfall to northwestern India.

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