North India continued to reel under cold wave conditions on Monday. Temperatures plummeted several degrees below the freezing point in many regions of Jammu and Kashmir while Delhi and Uttar Pradesh recorded single-digit minimum temperatures, the weather department said.
The weather department predicted temperatures in Delhi to hover around 21 degrees Celsius during the day and fall to a minimum of 5 degrees at night over the week.
Two people died in the intense cold wave in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts, PTI reported. Several schools were shut in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarkhand, ANI reported.
Kargil was the coldest region in Jammu and Kashmir with temperatures falling to minus 18.5 degrees Celsius on Monday, PTI reported. Srinagar recorded a minimum of minus 6 degrees Celsius.
However, air pollution in Delhi is likely to reduce this week as wind speeds have picked up and moisture content has dropped, the Hindustan Times reported. “Faster wind speed of about 15-20 km an hour does not allow fog to settle and also prevents pollutants from settling near the surface,” the newspaper quoted Mahesh Palawat, chief meteorologist at weather forecasting agency Skymet Weather, as saying.
At 5 pm on Monday, the Air Quality Index reading – a measure of the amount of pollutants in the air – was at an ‘unhealthy’ 157 in Delhi.
Punjab and Haryana also recorded lower pollution and less fog on Monday.