New Delhi, May 12 (UNI) Hail lashed Shimla and other adjoining areas in Himachal Pradesh today, even as the rest of the country sizzled under a blistering May sun.
The hail in Shimla, which lasted for 10 minutes, was followed by heavy rains that made people, mostly tourists, scurry for cover under the trees and rain shelters at about 1730 hrs.
Strong velocity winds blew across the town after the hail and visibility was reduced considerably.
The monsoon has set in over parts of the Bay of Bengal five days ahead of schedule, the weather office said.
The monsoon usually advances to the southeast Bay of Bengal and the south Andaman sea by May 15 but this year rains had come early, the India Meteorological Department said in a statement dated May 10.
A day after the national capital received 3.4 mm rainfall which brought down the temperature, mercury again soared to 40 degree Celsius. The minimum also rose to 25 degrees.
Scorching heat prevailed in the north-west region even as scattered rain lashed Himachal Pradesh during the past 24 hours.
Temperatures hovered below normal at most places in Punjab and Haryana. Hissar was the hottest in Haryana, with maximum temperature at 42.4 degrees, two degrees above normal.
Chandigarh and its adjoining areas were also under the impact of scorching heat with the mercury rising to 38.2 degrees.
Heat wave conditions also continued in Chennai, with the mercury rising above the 41-degrees mark.
Moderate to severe heat wave conditions prevailed in Guntur, Krishna and Prakasam districts in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Dry weather prevailed over some parts of Karnataka and rainfall occurred at isolated places over interior parts of the state.
Bihar's tryst with sultry days continued with Patna and its suburbs recording a maximum temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and minimum of 26.3 degrees.
Hot sunny days have returned in Rajasthan, with day temperatures rising at most of the stations in the state. Kota at 41.4 degrees turned out to be the hottest place.
However, heavy to very heavy rains occured at most places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Rain or thundershowers occured at many places in Himachal Pradesh and at a few places in Gangetic West Bengal, Orissa and Kerala.
Rain or thundershowers also occurred at isolated places in Assam, Meghalaya, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, east Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, east Rajasthan, west and east Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Chattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, south interior Karnataka and Lakshadweep.
Showers lashed few parts of Lucknow division, while most of the remaining UP was dry. Urai was recorded hottest at 42.9 degree Celsius.
However, Kolkata is likely to get slight respite from the hot and humid weather as thunder squalls and rainfalls are expected to occur later in the night.
UNI TEAM SKB HT1937