Biting cold grips Delhi, no respite for next two days
A cold wave swept Delhi on Wednesday as the minimum temperature dipped to 3.5 degree Celsius, the India Meteorological Department said. It is likely to get even colder on New Year's Eve as dry and icy winds barreled through the plains, it predicted. Cold wave conditions are predicted in parts of the city over the next two days, it further said.
The Safdarjung Observatory recorded 3.5 degree Celsius as against 3.6 degree Celsius on Tuesday. The weather stations at Jafarpur and Lodhi Road recorded a low of 3.5 degree Celsius and 3.7 degree Celsius, respectively. During the nighttime, dense fog reduced visibility to 50 meters in the Palam area. It improved to 400 meters by 9 am. The visibility at Safdarjung was 500 meters.
According to the IMD, "very dense" fog is when visibility is between 0 and 50 meters, 51 and 200 is "dense," 201 and 500 "moderate," and 501 and 1,000 "shallow."
Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the regional forecasting center of the IMD, said, "Cold and dry northerly/northwesterly winds from the western Himalayas have been barreling through the plains, bringing the minimum temperature in north India down." On December 20, the Safdarjung Observatory recorded a minimum of 3.4 degree Celsius, the lowest this season so far.
In the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave if the minimum temperature dips to 4 degree Celsius. A "severe" cold wave is when the minimum temperature dips to two degree Celsius or less.
The mean minimum temperature (7.06 degrees Celsius) in December this year so far is less than last year when it was 7.6 degrees Celsius. Last year, Delhi broke the record of the longest cold spell, registering 18 consecutive cold days. At 9.4 degree Celsius, Delhi had also recorded the lowest maximum temperature in December in 119 years.