New Delhi: Delhi witnessed the first spate of a cold wave on Monday with the maximum temperature dropping to 12.9 degrees Celsius, which was 10 degrees below the normal. This was the coldest December in 16 years, said the MeT office — the last lowest maximum temperature of 12.3 degree celsius being recorded on December 25, 2003. On Tuesday, too, severe cold conditions will prevail. The temperature is expected to be between 7 degrees and 14 degrees Celsius.

Maximum 12, Minimum 10

The minum temperature on Monday hovered around 10 degrees, which is not the lowest of the season. The minimum temperature already touched eight degrees before. But the sudden drop in the maximum temperature was what made it a ‘severe cold’ day as throughout the day, the mercury only moved around two degrees.

An active wesrtern disturbance, which has caused snowfall in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, is behind Delhi shivering. According to reports, the lowest maximum temperature in Delhi ever was 11.2 degrees Celsius, which was recorded on December 28, 1973.

What is a cold day in IMD’s language?

The ‘cold day’ in IMD’s definition is when the maximum temperature remains 4.4 degrees below the day’s normal. A ‘severe cold day’ is when the maximum temperature is more than 6.4 degrees below normal.

Despite mercury dropping amid thick fog blanket, the air quality on Monday remained ‘moderate’.