5 days and counting: Delhi suffers longest cold wave in 10 years
NEW DELHI: The capital continued to reel under severe weather, recording its fifth consecutive day of cold wave on Monday — the longest in 10 years — even as the city suffered its worst fog episode of the season with visibility remaining hampered for over 20 hours beginning Sunday evening.
The met department expects dense fog to continue till Wednesday although its intensity and span are expected to decrease by Tuesday night.
The bone-chilling cold spell, which started soon after the New Year’s advent, may also finally abate by Tuesday night, the department said. The five cold-wave days in a row so far are the longest continuous period of extremely low temperatures in Delhi since 2013, when, too, the spell lasted for five days.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the fog started to grip the city from 8.30pm on Sunday. From 1am onwards, it denser and remained so till 11.40am. Thereafter, there was some improvement till 4.30pm, when visibility extended to 1,000 metres. However, fog returned soon enough and visibility had dropped to 600m by 5.30pm before getting worse.
The minimum visibility at both Palam and Safdarjung was below 25m during the morning hours, against 50m a day earlier. Earlier on December 27, the city had seen an 18-hour long fog, though visibility then had kept improving unlike on Monday which it dropped again after a few hours of respite.
Over 200 flights were delayed and five Delhi bound flights diverted to Jaipur due to this. Over 70 trains were delayed too due to the fog situation.
Dense fog engulfs Delhi, reduces visibility
“The winds had been calm since 5pm on Sunday. There is an ongoing western disturbance which has caused some snowfall in the Himalayan region. This induced high moisture in the city. There was already clouding since Saturday night. These factors lead to a deepening of the fog across Delhi-NCR,” said R K Jenamani, senior IMD weather scientist.
He added that the situation may improve from Tuesday night, with the intensity of fog expected to be dense on Tuesday and hover between moderate and dense on Wednesday.
“There are chances of the city receiving easterly wind from late Tuesday night with speeds up to 10-20kmph, which will continue till Friday morning. So, the fog situation may improve from January 11 to 13. The cold wave will also improve in the same period,” Jenamani said.
He added that the city may get light rain in the period between Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, Delhi continued to reel under a cold wave on Monday, along with isolated cold-day situations in some areas.
The minimum temperature at the base station of Safdarjung was recorded at 3.8 degrees Celsius, three notches below normal, against 1.9 degrees C a day earlier. The maximum temperature was 18.6 degree Celsius, a notch below normal.
Delhi schools to remain shut till January 15 on account of severe cold
According to IMD, the cold wave may continue till Tuesday, with respite from Wednesday onwards.
At 3.2 degrees C, Ayanagar recorded the city’s lowest temperature. Meanwhile, with a maximum temperature of 13.7 degrees C, six notches below normal, Jafarpur suffered cold-day conditions.
For the cold-day conditions, the minimum temperature must be below 10 degrees C, along with the maximum temperature being at least 4.5 degrees below normal. A severe cold day is declared when the maximum is 6.5 degrees or more below normal. A cold wave happens when the minimum is either below four degrees C or the temperature is at least 4.5 degrees below normal.
The maximum and minimum temperatures on Tuesday are likely to hover around 19 and 5 degrees C, respectively.
Watch Delhi: Flights delayed due to severe fog and cold in the national capital