NEW DELHI: Dangerous thunderstorms will bring a variety of risks to people living across parts of Pakistan and northern India into the middle of the week.
Karachi was struck by a deadly dust storm on Monday which resulted in at least five deaths and injured dozens more, according to Pakistan Today. The storm reportedly uprooted trees and utility polls and also damaged homes and schools in the area.
Deadly thunderstorms and dust storms hit Pakistan again on Tuesday bringing the death toll to 23 since Monday, according to the Times of India. Punjab and Sindh provinces were hardest hit by the severe weather.
Most of the deaths resulted from collapsed buildings, flash flooding and vehicle accidents involving poor visibility. Improved weather is expected across much of southern and central Pakistan on Wednesday.
The storm is also responsible for at least 5 deaths due to flooding in Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press. More than a dozen other people are missing following the flooding.
Elsewhere across northern Pakistan and northwest India, strong winds prior to the arrival of thunderstorms can result in dust storms into Wednesday.
Areas at greatest risk for dangerous thunderstorms and dust storms include Lahore, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Lucknow and Agra.
Satellite image showing clusters of thunderstorms affecting Pakistan and India on Tuesday afternoon, local time.
These dust storms can result in near-zero visibility that will cause dangerous travel conditions and prolonged delays to travel by rail and air.
As the thunderstorms advance eastward, the dangers will shift from dust storms to flash flooding and damaging winds.
Rainfall amounts of 25-50 mm (1-2 inches) can fall within an hour or two in the strongest thunderstorms.
The thunderstorms will also bring the risk for damaging winds as they track across the region. Wind gusts of 65-100 km/h (40-62 mph) are possible, resulting in a high risk for power outages, tree damage and even damage to homes and businesses in areas that are hit by the strongest thunderstorms.
These strongest storms will also pose the risk for damaging hail.
While the risk for severe thunderstorms and dust storms will be lower, locations across central and eastern India will still be at risk for localized thunderstorms into the middle of the week.
Areas from Patna to Kolkata may have a locally severe thunderstorm on Wednesday.
These storms will bring the risk for damaging winds and localized flooding and could also result in lower visibility due to blowing dust.
The weather is set to improve on Thursday as the storm departs and the threat for severe weather comes to an end.
There can still be localized thunderstorms in eastern India; however, dry weather will prevail throughout northern India following days of thunderstorms.
One positive from the stormy weather is that cooler air will sweep into northern India and Pakistan with the thunderstorms bringing the lowest high temperatures in more than a month.
The coolest air will settle over Pakistan into Wednesday.
A high temperature of 22 C (72 F) is forecast for Lahore, Pakistan, on Wednesday. Locations across India’s National Capital Region, including New Delhi may fail to reach 17 C (80 F).
Temperatures will slowly rebound back to normal levels by Friday and then continue to climb into the weekend.