: After reeling under the 22-day-long heatwave spell, the city witnessed relief following strong thunderstorms and showers late Wednesday evening.

The weather took a turn on Wednesday evening with strong thunderstorms followed by light showers. (HT File)

The maximum temperature on Thursday was recorded at 38 degrees Celsius, six degrees less than Wednesday. The weather took a turn on Wednesday evening with strong thunderstorms followed by light showers.

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According to the director, department of agricultural meteorology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dr Pavneet Kaur Kingra, the reason behind the thunderstorms and showers was a fresh western disturbance.

“This is a weak disturbance and may persist for several days. We expect light showers and thunderstorms with lightning by tomorrow,” she said.

According to the India meteorological department’s (IMD) daily bulletin, “Isolated to scattered very light-to-light rainfall with thunderstorms, lightning & gusty winds (40-50 kmph) very likely over Punjab.”

The temperature had remained in the heatwave category since May 15 with it crossing 46 degrees Celsius on multiple occasions, making it the hottest May in a decade. When the maximum temperature stays above 40 degrees Celsius for a few days in a row, it is said to be a heatwave. In 2013 the heatwave lasted from May 17 to 31, with the temperature of 40-46.2 degrees Celsius.

According to Kingra, the reason behind the prolonged heatwave was the absence of any western disturbance in May this year, which was in stark contrast to the last several years. In 2022, the heatwave lasted only from May 20-23 with a maximum temperature between 40-43 degrees Celsius.

Shivender, scientist at IMD, Chandigarh centre, opined that one of the reasons behind the above normal temperature were the winds coming into the state from the hot and dry areas of Rajasthan.