New Delhi: Delhi people have been rivalling against a prolonged winter chill as the mercury spiralled down to as low as 1.7 degrees Celsius on Lodhi Road around 8:30 AM on Saturday. In Aya Nagar, the temperature dropped to 1.9 degrees Celsius, 2.4 degrees Celsius in Safdarjung Enclave, while the lowest minimum temperature at Palam was recorded at 3.1 degrees Celsius.

Notably, this is expected to be one of the coldest winters recorded in the national capital since 1901. The record lowest minimum temperature stands at zero degrees Celsius, marked in the 1930s. However, the extreme chill and dense fog are expected to clear out by December 31 and rain is likely in Delhi’s national capital region.

At least four flights have been diverted, and several others delayed as the runways got no clearance due to low visibility. Over 24 trains are also running late due to the poor visibility in Delhi and its surrounding areas.

Further, the dense fog reduced visibility as the city shivers in 13-day-long chilly winter spell. The Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded in “very poor” category at 360 early morning, as per the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data.

Meanwhile, the sudden drop in mercury, touching zero degrees Celsius, led to Dal lake in Jammu & Kashmir partially freezing with medium thickness of ice. Srinagar recorded its coldest night of the decade at minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, according to IMD. On the other hand, the minimum temperature in Leh went down to minus 18 degrees Celsius.