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Image: The hailstorm at Darjeeling Mall on Monday afternoon. 

Siliguri / Kolkata: DARJEELING Hills today witnessed a massive hailstorm enveloping it with a cold foggy charm.

The hailstorm comes a day before the first-ever Hill Business Summit is slated to kick off in Darjeeling tomorrow. The summit, to be attended by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and several known faces of the Bengal industrial fraternity, will continue till 14 March.

The hailstorm in the hills began around 2.30 this afternoon and continued for over an hour. Moderate rains accompanied the hails.

This comes on a day Kolkata and the adjoining districts were taken aback by a sudden thundering. The thundering, which occurred around 4 in the afternoon, was almost a bolt from the blue as the sun has been frying the city since morning.

Light drizzle accompanied the thundering but it was not enough to get recorded in the weather office’s rain gauge. Understandably, the city recorded a two notches jump in both the maximum and minimum temperatures that stood at 35.3 and 23.7 degree Celsius, respectively.

The Alipore Weather Observation Centre in Kolkata has forecast light to moderate rains to occur tomorrow in most parts of north Bengal, including Darjeeling, and in the Gangetic districts of south Bengal. Kolkata will remain dry.

This rain in the districts will be due to a cyclonic circulation over north Odisha and the adjoining area, the weather office said.