Hail storm flattens cotton crop in Muktsar distt of Punjab

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Chandigarh, May 18 (UNI) A hail storm lashed parts of Punjab flattening the cotton crop, as a thick layer of dust settled over Punjab and Haryana today.

According to reports reaching here, a hail storm lashed Muktsar district in Punjab causing widespread destruction to the cotton crop in about 20 odd villages. The hail storm was accompanied by rain and high velocity winds that disrupted power supply.

There were reports of traces of rain from different parts of Punjab and Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

The met office has warned of a hail storm and high velocity winds sweeping parts of the North West region as the thick layer of dust settled over Punjab and Haryana. Visibility in parts of the two state was reduced due to the layer of dust.

The holy city of Amritsar was the hottest place in the region at 41.8 degrees celsius, three degrees above normal. Patiala recorded a maximum temperature of 39.1 degrees, one degree below normal.

In Haryana, Hisar was fairly warm at 39.6 degrees while the maximum in Karnal was 37.6 degrees, two degrees below normal.

A thick layer of dust also settled over the Union Territory of Chandigarh where the maximum temperature was recorded at 39.4 degrees, four degrees above normal.

The maximum and minimum temperatures rose by a few degrees at many places in Himachal Pradesh today even overcast conditions are prevailing in the state due to a weakened western disturbance (WD), a report from Shimla said.

The maximum temperature at Una town again touched a high of 40.4 degree Celsius during the day before thick clouds covered the sky during the second half of the day.

The met office said the day temperature in this hill state capital's fell by two points to stand at 24.7 degrees, while it remained stationary at 35.6 degrees at Sundernagar in Mandi district.

However, the day temperature at Bhuntar rose by about two degrees to 31.6 degree as compared to yesterday. It also rose by a few notches to 22.8 degree at Kalpa and by a point to 33.4 degrees at the famous tourist resort of Dharamshala in Kangra district.

The minimum temperatures at Shimla, Sundernagar and Bhuntar rose by about three points each to 16, 17.3 and 13 degree celsius respectively.

However, the minimum temperature at Kalpa fell by about three points to 1.2 degrees as compared to yesterday following mild intermittent snowfall in the higher altitude areas of the tribal districts of Kinnuar, Lahaul Spiti and Chamba.

The night temperature at Dharamshala also rose to 19.3 and 19.2 degrees at Una town.

Overcast conditions prevailed over Shimla town and other adjoining areas during the second half of the day after a clear blue sky in the morning.

The met office has forecast thundershowers and rain followed by hail at isolated places in Himachal Pradesh during the next 24 hrs.

UNI HS BK 1927

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