IMD says Delhi witnessed third worst cold spell from Jan 3-9 in 23 years, predicts dense fog on Wednesday
Delhi experienced the third worst cold spell this season in the last 23 years, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday. The cold wave spell in the national capital in January this year was the longest in a decade, the weather department added.
Senior IMD scientist R K Jenamani also said “Delhi recorded a minimum temperature equal to or less than 4 degrees Celsius on 7 days (January 3 to January 9) in 2013, with the lowest minimum temperature of 1.9 degrees Celsius on January 6."
This year, the national capital recorded a cold wave spell from January 5 to January 9, with the lowest minimum temperature of 1.9 degrees Celsius on January 8, according to the IMD data.
The official said a similar situation was also experienced in the year 2006 when the lowest temperature of 1.9 degrees Celsius was recorded during a cold spell.
Cold wave conditions abated in Delhi on Tuesday due to a fresh western disturbance affecting northwest India, even as a dense layer of fog lowered visibility to just 50 metres, affecting road and rail movement.
The Safdarjung observatory, Delhi’s primary weather station, recorded a minimum temperature of 6.4 degrees Celsius as against 3.8 degrees Celsius on Monday. The maximum temperature settled at 18.7 degrees Celsius.
“Cold wave conditions have abated from the plains in northwest India. No cold wave is predicted in the region for the next four days," the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.
“However, dense to very dense fog and cold day conditions will prevail over many parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday and will gradually abate thereafter," it said.
Light drizzle is also expected in the capital on Thursday. IMD predicted the cold wave condition will get worse in the national capital over the week and warned of a second chilly spell from January 14.
Delhi saw around 50 hours of dense fog in January so far, the maximum in the month since 2019, a senior IMD official said on Tuesday.
Senior IMD scientist R K Jenamani also said “Delhi has recorded around 50 hours of dense fog this month so far, which is the highest since 2019," Jenamani said.
The senior meteorologist attributed the long spell of intense cold to a large gap between two western disturbances, which meant frosty winds from the snow-clad mountains blew in for a longer-than-usual period.
The city has recorded below-normal maximum temperatures this month so far due to dense fog that reduced sunshine hours.
Low day temperatures mean early cooling and early fog formation in the evening, he said.
RESPITE FROM CHILLY WEATHER
Chilly weather in Delhi since the start of January strained power grids and posed challenges to homeless people. It also prompted the Delhi government to extend winter vacations in schools till January 15.
Meteorologists attribute the long spell of intense cold to a large gap between two western disturbances, which meant frosty winds from the snow-clad mountains blew in for a longer-than-usual period.
According to IMD officials, north India, including Delhi, will get short-term relief under the influence of the fresh western disturbance.
The minimum temperature may increase to 8 degrees Celsius while the maximum is likely to go up to 20 degrees Celsius, the Met office said.
DELHI’S AIR QUALITY ‘SEVERE’ FOR 2ND DAY
Delhi’s air quality remained severe for a second consecutive day on Tuesday due to unfavourable meteorological conditions though pollution levels are likely to ameliorate in the coming days, forecasting agencies said.
The city’s air quality index had deteriorated to the “severe" category on Monday after a gap of around two months, prompting the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) to direct all NCR states to implement anti-pollution curbs with greater vigour.
Delhi’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 407 at 4 pm on Tuesday. It was 434 on Monday and 371 on Sunday. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered “poor", 301 and 400 “very poor", and 401 and 500 “severe".