A cloud cover over the national capital on Friday led to the minimum temperature rising to 6.7 degrees Celsius, a notch above normal, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
However, moderate fog lowered visibility to 201 metres at Safdarjung and 300 metres at Palam in the morning, an IMD official said.
Dense fog is predicted in parts of the city on Saturday.
Cold and dry northerly/northwesterly winds from the western Himalayas had brought the minimum temperature down in Delhi on Thursday. The wind direction then changed to northeasterly. This, along with partly cloudy weather, resulted in an increase in the minimum temperature, Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD’s regional forecasting centre said.
On January 1, the city had recorded a minimum of 1.1 degrees Celsius, lowest for the month in 15 years.
Delhi had been registering above-normal minimum temperatures till Monday, as a cloud cover persisted over the city under the influence of successive Western Disturbances.
However, the temperature started dropping with the commencement of cold northwesterly winds after the withdrawal of the latest WD.
The city’s air quality remained severe on Friday as well.
The air quality index had entered the severe zone on Thursday due to the prevailing extremely unfavourable conditions for dispersion of pollutants, government agencies said.
The city’s air quality index (AQI) was 460 at 10 am. The 24-hour average AQI was 429 on Thursday. It was 354 on Wednesday, 293 on Tuesday and 243 on Monday.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 severe.
Srivastava said the wind speed has slowed down and the moisture in the air has made the pollutants heavier.
The central government’s Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi said slow winds and ventilation conditions are extremely unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants.
This will lead to further deterioration in air quality, the agency said.
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