What's leading to severe cold across North India?
Severe cold conditions continue to prevail in national capital Delhi and other parts of northern India, including Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh. Further, a respite is not expected until this weekend as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted rainfall, fog, and low temperatures in the coming days. But what is leading to the unusually chilly weather in the region?
- Northern India is witnessing an unusually chilly weather this January, marked by dense fog and frequent rains.
- Earlier, experts had warned of severe cold conditions because of La Nina—a weather phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean that leads to a dip in temperatures.
- Last year, India had seen a significantly delayed monsoon, followed by a spell of heavy rainfall.
The fall in temperatures is due to a big cloud cover over the Gangetic plain, that has caused fog-like conditions. It will take several days to move away from northern states and cities like UP, Bihar, and Delhi. The cloud cover, that has been observed for the past one week, is 1,700 kilometers long and extends from Pakistan to Bihar, according to India Today.
On Wednesday, the IMD had said that a Western Disturbance would affect northwest India starting from Friday. It will likely lead to rainfall in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and northern parts of Rajasthan. Further, dense fog conditions have been predicted for isolated parts of Punjab, Haryana, UP, northern Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, and West Bengal.
"The improvement is only marginal since another Western Disturbance system is taking shape, which will bring rains and cloudy conditions after rains on January 22, 23. One West Bengal rain condition will be seen on January 23, 24," IMD official Dr. RK Jenamani said. The rainfall in Delhi is expected to be accompanied by gusty winds, ranging between 30-40 kilometers per hour in speed.