New Delhi: Temperatures dipped further on Saturday morning as Delhi witnessed at this season’s lowest temperature at 2.4 degrees Celsius at 6:10 AM, two notches below normal, amid unabated cold wave conditions in several parts of North India. With this, Delhi might be in for the coldest December in decades, since 1901.
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 Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data.
According to reports, the early morning in the national capital was colder than that in Shimla today and at least 21 trains have been delayed until about six hours in the northern region. Moreover, four flights were diverted at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport due to poor visibility. At present, flights are operating under CAT III-B (instrument landing system) conditions at the Delhi airport.
People lit fire on the street sides to keep themselves warm on the “severe” cold day, while other destitute people take refuge at night shelters in several areas in the capital city.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the winter chill is expected to continue till December 31 due to northwesterly winds in the low lands of northern India – including Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Bihar, along with parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh – after which the daytime temperatures are predicted to rise.
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.
Isolated regions in the middle and high hills of Himachal Pradesh might receive rainfall and snow in the yearend, the Met department further stated, while a dense fog is expected to persist with low visibility in the plains and foothills till January 1.