Parts of North India on Friday continued to experience cold wave conditions, with the temperature dropping to 1.1 degrees Celsius in Delhi – the lowest in 15 years, reported PTI. On January 8, 2006, the Capital had registered a minimum temperature of 0.2 degrees Celsius.
The India Meteorological Department said the minimum temperature registered in January last year was 2.4 degrees Celsius.
IMD regional forecasting centre Kuldeep Srivastava told NDTV that “very dense” fog lowered visibility to “zero” metres at Safdarjung and Palam at 6 am. He added that the minimum temperature is expected to start rising from Saturday due to an “intense” western disturbance that will affect northwest India from January 2 to January 6. The minimum temperature may rise to 8 degrees Celsius between January 4 and January 5.
“The minimum temperature of 1.1 degrees Celsius is the coldest in 15 years. In 2006, the temperature dipped to 0.2 degrees celsius,” the weather department official said. “Cold wave conditions will persist today but the temperature will rise from tomorrow.”
The weather department’s bulletin on Friday also predicted cold day conditions and dense fog at isolated places in Delhi, Haryana, and Chandigarh. Light rain may also occur in the national Capital under the influence of the western disturbance from January 3 to January 5.
According to the weather department, a “severe cold day” is registered when the minimum temperature drops to less than 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature is at least 6.4 degrees Celsius below normal. A “cold day” classification is used when the minimum temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum is 4.4 degrees Celsius below normal.
A thick blanket of fog engulfed Haryana and Punjab on Friday morning, affecting visibility in the two states, a meteorological department official said, according to PTI. The weather department added that the minimum temperatures in the states hovered below normal.
The temperature in Hisar district of Haryana was recorded at 1.2 degrees, and 0.2 degrees Celsius was registered in Narnaul. In Punjab’s Faridkot, a minimum temperature of 0.2 degrees was recorded.
Meanwhile, air quality levels in the Capital were recorded in the “severe” category at 426, with PM2.5 and PM10 being the prominent pollutants, 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 was recorded at 423 in Delhi.