New Delhi recorded its coldest day in four years on Thursday, with the minimum temperature dipping to 4 degrees Celsius, the India Meteorological Department said, according to PTI. This is four degrees below normal for this time of the year. The maximum temperature was 22 degrees Celsius, which is normal.

The India Meteorological Department had on Wednesday predicted a cold wave in the region from Thursday to Saturday. The department declares a cold wave when the minimum temperature is four degrees below normal for three straight days.

On Friday, the minimum temperature was 4.7 degrees Celsius, three degrees below normal, Met department data showed. The IMD has forecast that the minimum temperature on Saturday will also be 4 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature will continue to stay around 5 degrees Celsius till December 27, it said.

The minimum temperature in New Delhi on Thursday was lower than that in Shimla, which recorded 6.3 degrees Celsius. On Friday too, Shimla’s minimum temperature was higher than New Delhi’s at 5.5 degrees Celsius.

In Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius on Friday, three degrees lower than normal. IMD has predicted that the minimum temperature will remain between minus 3 and minus 4 degrees till December 27. In Jammu, the minimum temperature on Friday was 4 degrees Celsius, five degrees below normal.

The 40-day harsh winter period, known as Chillai Kalaan, began in Kashmir on Friday, IANS reported. Chillai Kalan begins on December 21 and ends on January 30 each year.