At least 15 people were killed in a squall which hit Bihar this morning while most parts of the country reeled under sizzling heat which affected normal life at several places.
Heatwave conditions prevailed in the national capital with the mercury touching 44 degrees Celsius in some parts of the city.
The Safdarjung observatory, whose recording is considered official for the city, registered a maximum temperature of 42.8 degrees Celsius, four notches above the season's average.
Areas under Palam, Lodhi Road, Ridge and Ayanagar observatories recorded maximum temperatures of 44.2 degrees Celsius, 42.3 degrees Celsius, 42.6 degrees Celsius and 43.5 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Bihar witnessed a drop in temperatures after rainfall across the state. A squall hit the state this morning killing at least 15 people.
Two persons died in Lakhisarai, Aurangabad, Madhubani and Begusarai districts each while it claimed one life each in Patna, Nalanda, Purnea, Darbhanga, Supual, Araria and Munger districts, an official said.
Rain and storm also destroyed standing crops, damaged houses and uprooted trees in at least 11 districts.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed grief over the loss of lives and announced ex gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the next of the kin of the deceased.
The squall was followed by 10.5 mm rains in Patna which led to drop in maximum temperatures to 28.6 degrees Celsius. Bhagalpur received 0.9 mm rainfall and Purnea 32 mm.
In Himachal Pradesh, thunderstorm and squall hit Shimla and surrounding areas this evening leading to sharp fall in temperatures. The storm blew off roofs of kachha houses and uprooted trees at some places. Manali and Bhuntar received 3.6 mm and 2 mm rains respectively. The mercury dropped by 3.6 degrees at Una which recorded a high of 39 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, temperatures remained above the 40-degree mark in most places of Rajasthan with Churu being the hottest place in the state with 46.4 degrees Celsius followed by Sriganganagar at 45 degrees Celsius.
Some parts of the state also witnessed dust storm and light rain, the local MeT department said.
Blistering heat continued in Odisha with Titlagarh regaining its position as the hottest place in the state at 43 degrees Celsius. However, overcast conditions brought down temperatures marginally in some of the coastal areas.
The mercury breached the 40-degree mark in at least nine places in the western part of the state during the day.
Balangir was a close second to Titlagarh recording a high of 42.5 degrees Celsius, while the mercury stood at 42.1 degrees Celsius in Angul, 42 degrees Celsius in Jharsuguda and 41.3 degrees Celsius in Sambalpur.
Hot weather conditions continued in Punjab and Haryana with Hisar being the hottest place in both the states, recording a high of 45.6 degrees Celsius, five notches above the normal.
In Haryana, Narnaul registered a high of 45 degrees Celsius, while in Punjab, Amritsar's maximum temperature was 41.6 degrees Celsius.
Day temperatures were above normal in parts of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Vidarbha region and Karnataka.