Delhi freezes as cold days hit, dense fog lowers visibility

On Monday, dense fog lowered visibility to 50 metres in some areas of the city, affecting road and rail traffic.

Cold wave conditions in isolated areas persist for two days.

The mercury dropped to 3 degrees Celsius in the national capital’s Ridge area, 4.9 degrees below normal, making it the coldest place in Delhi. Meanwhile, the maximum temperature settled at 15 degrees celsius, six notches below normal and the lowest so far this season.

“Delhi is experiencing cold days due to normal conditions enabled by sunny days and north-westerly winds. But there is no cold wave yet,” said Kuldeep Srivastava (Sc-E) Head, Regional Forecasting Centre, RMC Delhi.

On Monday, dense fog lowered visibility to 50 metres in some areas of the city, affecting road and rail traffic.

“Dense fog will continue to restrict visibility until first week of January. Meanwhile, the trend is of rising temperature, which means there will be a slight increase of one or two degrees, but cold days will remain,” Srivastava added.

The Safdarjung observatory, Delhi’s primary weather station, logged a minimum temperature of 5 degrees Celsius — three notches below normal. The maximum temperature is likely to settle around 19 degrees Celsius, the weather office said.

On Sunday, the capital reported a cold day. According to the weather office, a cold day is when the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature is at least 4.5 degrees Celsius below normal.

Dense to very dense fog prevailed in some parts of the National Capital Region, Haryana, Punjab, west Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan on Monday.

Bathinda in Punjab and Bikaner in Rajasthan reported zero visibility, while it dropped to 50 metres and below at Ambala, Hisar, Amritsar, Patiala, Ganganagar, Churu and Bareilly.

According to the IMD, “very dense” fog is when visibility is between 0 and 50 metres, 51 and 200 metres is “dense”, 201 and 500 “moderate”, and 501 and 1,000 “shallow”.

In the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave if the minimum temperature dips to 4 degrees Celsius. A cold wave is also declared when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 notches below normal.

A “severe” cold wave is when the minimum temperature dips to two degrees Celsius or the departure from normal is more than 6.4 degrees Celsius.

(With PTI inputs)

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