The India Meteorological Department on Wednesday issued an orange alert and predicted rainfall and thunderstorms in parts of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and south Haryana.

An orange alert by the meteorological department means that authorities and residents in the area should be prepared for a weather event such as heavy rain, severe heat or cold.

The warning comes amidst soaring temperatures and heat waves that have been reported from various parts of the country in the past few weeks. On Monday, a heat wave swept through Delhi, with maximum temperatures crossing 46 degrees Celsius. Heat wave conditions also prevailed in isolated parts of Madhya Pradesh and southwest Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.

The weather department on Wednesday said that rainfall, lightning and occasional gusty winds are very likely to occur in the western Himalayan region between Wednesday and Friday.

The India Meteorological Department also issued a hailstorm warning in parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, West Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan between Wednesday and Thursday. In Rajasthan, rainfall may be accompanied by dust storms.

Besides North India, heavy rainfall has also been predicted in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, West Bengal, and Sikkim between Wednesday and Friday, the weather bulletin said.