Dust storm engulfs Delhi, 2 dead: How it forms and its impact on daily life | Delhi News

New Delhi: A sudden dust storm engulfed Delhi, taking the capital by surprise around 9.45 pm on Friday night. After the initial burst of dust, the storm was severe with strong winds and light rain.
Two people lost their lives and six others were injured after a dust storm uprooted more than 100 trees in Delhi. Seventeen people have also been injured due to the damage to the buildings as a result of the storm. Delhi Police has received a call about 152 trees being uprooted. They handled 55 calls about building damage and 202 about power outages. Officials worked through the night after the storm.


IMD observations
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has recorded winds of 77 kmph in some parts of the city. IMD officials had warned of the possibility of a similar storm in the city on Saturday, with rain expected during the night.
Why did dust storm and thunder storm suddenly hit Delhi?
Kuldeep Srivastava, a scientist at the IMD, said the cyclone is the result of a combination of factors including western disturbances, easterly winds and high temperatures that lead to the formation of convective clouds and such strong winds.
What are thunderstorms and dust storms?
A thunderstorm is characterized by lightning and thunder, resulting from electrical discharges in a vertically developed cloud. On the other hand, turbulent air in a dust storm carries dust or sand particles high up, often reducing visibility significantly.


The Role of Western Disturbance
Western disturbances are extratropical cyclones from the Mediterranean Sea that cause winter rainfall in the northwestern Indian subcontinent. This disturbance plays an important role in the growth of Rabi crops, including wheat, which is a staple food in the region. These storms carry moisture into the upper atmosphere and can lead to rain when they encounter the Himalayas.

What are Easterlies?

The trade winds, also known as the easterlies, are persistent winds that blow from east to west across the Earth's equator. These winds originate mainly from the northeast in the northern hemisphere and from the southeast in the southern hemisphere. Trade winds intensify during the winter months and when the Arctic Oscillation is in its warm phase.

Dust_Thunder_Storm Delhi

Impacts on daily life and agriculture
The sudden storm caused significant inconvenience to the residents of Delhi, with trees uprooted and traffic jams affecting movement. Forecasts for more storms over the weekend meant people had to be prepared for possible disruptions.
The presence of such storms also has important implications for agriculture, especially for rabi crops that depend on rainfall caused by western disturbances.
Finally, the Delhi dust storm serves as a reminder of the city's vulnerability to sudden changes in weather and the importance of timely advice from the Meteorological Department.

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