Capital Shivers From Biting Cold as Temperature Plummets

It was a cold, foggy start to the year with the minimum temperature in the Capital settling at 1.1 degrees Celsius, which is six degrees below the normal for the season. The minimum temperature recorded was the coldest in 15 years. The India Meteorological Department declared that the city was under the spell of a severe cold wave, but relief from the dipping mercury was on the horizon as light rain is expected under the influence of a western disturbance between January 3 and January 5. The showers will most likely cause a rise in the minimum temperature by a few notches.


A severe cold wave is declared when the minimum temperature dips to 2 degrees Celsius or the departure is more than 6.4 degrees from the normal. The maximum temperature in the city settled at 19.2 degrees Celsius, which is normal for the season. However, very dense fog lowered visibility to zero metres at Safdarjung and Palam around 6 a.m. According to the IMD, “very dense” fog is when visibility is between 0 and 50 metres. In case of “dense” fog, visibility is between 51 and 200 metres, “moderate” 201 and 500 metres, and "shallow" 501 and 1,000 metres. The air quality also deteriorated on the first day of the year and settled in the ‘severe’ category.


The AQI reading for Delhi based on the average 24­hour reading from 34 stations was 441. Faridabad, Noida, Ghaziabad and Greater Noida were also in the ‘severe’ category while Gurugram was in the ‘very poor’ category. It has been a cold winter this season with November 2020 being the coldest in 71 years and October 2020 being the coldest in 58 years. December 2020 was the second coldest in 15 years with a mean minimum temperature of 7.1 degrees Celsius. On January 8, 2006, the city had recorded a minimum of 0.2 degrees. The all-time record is minus 0.6 degrees Celsius registered in January 1935, the IMD said.




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