The India Meteorological Department on Wednesday said that severe cold wave conditions are likely to impact several parts of northwest India for the next three days, reported the Hindustan Times. This is due to the cold and dry northwesterly winds blowing over the region, the weather department said.
Ground frost is likely in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi during the same period. Dense to very dense fog in isolated pockets is also expected to prevail over Punjab and Uttar Pradesh during the next two days, the IMD added.
Uttar Pradesh is likely to experience severe cold day conditions, while dense fog is also likely over Bihar, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura in the next two to three days, the weather department said.
“Extremely cold winds are blowing from the Western Himalayan region where there was widespread snowfall last week,” said Kuldeep Shrivastava, head of regional weather forecasting centre. “Low cloud conditions are blocking sunshine in some areas which is leading to very low maximum temperatures in some places over northwest India.”
Delhi experienced some relief on Wednesday after the city’s temperature rose to 5.4 degrees Celsius from the 2.1 degrees Celsius recorded on Tuesday, reported PTI. However, the temperature on Wednesday was still three notches below normal, the India Meteorological Department said.
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.
An IMD official told PTI that cold wave conditions are likely to make a comeback in Delhi as the minimum temperature is predicted to dip by four degrees Celsius over the next two days. “Icy winds barrelling through the plains are likely to bring the mercury down again,” he said.
Delhi’s air quality remained in the “very poor” category with the average hourly air quality index of 320 at 1 pm on Wednesday, Central Pollution Control Board data showed. The air quality on Tuesday, too, was in the “very poor” zone at 330. This was a slight slip from Monday’s AQI of 323, which was also in the “very poor” category.
The Union ministry of earth science’s air quality monitoring centre, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, said that there was a possibility of improvement in the air from Wednesday. “A marginal increase in ventilation index is forecasted, the AQI is likely to marginally improve, but stay within the ‘very poor’ category on January 27,” SAFAR added, according to the Hindustan Times. “The AQI is likely to stay in the ‘very poor’ category on January 28 and January 29.”
Jammu and Kashmir
Meanwhile, the minimum temperature in Jammu and Kashmir stayed below freezing point on Wednesday and is expected to remain that low till next week as a Western Disturbance is likely to hit the Valley on February 2, PTI reported, quoting the India Meteorological Department.
Srinagar on Wednesday recorded a low of minus 2 degrees Celsius, up from minus 2.4 degrees Celsius the previous night. The minimum temperature at the Gulmarg skiing resort, in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, settled at minus 12 degrees Celsius. Kupwara recorded a low of minus 2 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag in the south recorded minus 8.3 degrees Celsius.
The region of Kashmir is currently in the grip of “Chillai-Kalan” – the 40-day spell of harsh winter – when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops drastically, leading to the freezing of water bodies.