New Delhi: In an unbroken spell of cold wave, Delhi recorded the lowest minimum temperature of the season as the mercury dropped to 5.2 degrees celsius — three degrees below normal. The maximum temperature was around 15 degrees Celsius, seven notches below normal. Conditions are likely to improve from today but dense fog will continue today. Several morning flights have been disrupted, the Delhi Airport authorities informed.

 

“Due to bad weather, flight operations at Delhi Airport are affected. While take-offs and landings continue, some flights are impacted due to crew operational limitations. Passengers are requested to contact the airline concerned for updated flight information. Any inconvenience caused is regretted,” it said.

 

Thursday was the third ‘severe cold day’ of the week, as per readings at Delhi’s main weather station, Safdarjung. Other places in the capital were even colder on Thursday morning. Mungeshpur registered a low of 4.1 degrees C while Jafarpur recorded 4.9, reports said.

Several flights were cancelled owing to low visibility. Tuesday was the coldest December day in 22 years as the maximum temperature clocked 12.2 degrees Celsius, 10 notches below normal, and the lowest since 1997 when it had touched 11.3.

According to IMD, a ‘severe cold day’ is when the maximum temperature is at least 6.4 degrees Celsius below normal.

Historically, the lowest minimum temperature recorded in December was 0 degrees Celsius in 1930. A partly cloudy sky is expected with ‘severe cold’ conditions at many places and dense fog in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures will be around 16 and 6 degrees Celsius, respectively. The air quality index (AQI) on Thursday was in “very poor” zone at 362.

In Uttar Pradesh, all schools have been shut till December 20, in view of the extremely cold weather conditions. However, the chill is expected to become less intense in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Rajasthan. An Orange Alert has been issued in Uttarakhand till December 20 owing to the cold weather condition, especially Haridwar, Dehradun and Udham Singh Nagar. The IMD has also predicted ‘very light’ rain and thunderstorm to hit Delhi on December 22 due to a likely western disturbance.