A cold wave is expected in parts of Delhi and north India in the next four days as icy winds from the Himalayas have started making their way towards the plains, the India Meteorological Department said on Monday. The minimum temperature in the Capital was recorded at 5.6 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
The weather department predicted that the temperature may fall to three degree Celsius on New Year’s Eve. “Cold wave to severe cold wave conditions are likely to re-establish over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi from 28th to 29th December and over Rajasthan from 29th to 30th December,” the weather department’s bulletin read. “Northern parts of Saurashtra and Kutch is also likely to experience cold wave conditions on 28th-29th December.”
Ground frost conditions were also likely in some areas of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh and Delhi, Rajasthan and West Madhya Pradesh between Tuesday and Friday.
Meanwhile, visibility may also be affected as the weather department predicted “dense to very dense fog” over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.
In an impact-based advisory on December 25, the India Meteorological Department asked residents of Delhi and five other states to avoid consuming alcohol, in view of the severe cold wave conditions that are expected to prevail in parts of north India from December 28.
A “cold day” is when the minimum temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature is at least 4.4 degrees Celsius below normal, while a “severe” cold day is when the maximum temperature is at least 6.5 notches below normal.
Meanwhile, the Western Disturbance will lead to “scattered to fairly widespread” snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. After the wind system withdraws, cold and dry northerly or northwesterly winds from the western Himalayas will bring the minimum temperature in north India down by three to five degrees Celsius.
Despite the chilly winds blowing over the Capital, at 11 am on Monday, the air quality levels were recorded in the “very poor” category at 310, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. According to the agency’s air quality index or AQI, any reading above 100 on a scale of 500 is progressively unsafe for health.
While the pollution control board uses 24-hour average data, the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ SAFAR, or System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research reports real-time figures. The government-run monitoring agency said the overall AQI struck 318 in Delhi.