New Delhi: People living in and around the national capital region of Delhi wake up to a foggy morning on Thursday as they gear up for an icy cold winter as the difference between the lowest and highest temperatures narrow down further.

The temperature dropped down to seven degrees Celsius, in what the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has classified as the coldest “severe cold day” in December in over the last 20 years. Meanwhile, the highest temperature was recorded at 14 degrees Celsius.

An IMD update stated that a dense fog had developed in the national capital with the visibility as low as 50-150 metres. Moreover, the Air Quality Index (AQI) worsened from the previous day as it dipped from the ‘Moderate’ air quality to 294 in the ‘Poor’ category.

Notably, 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, where people were seen lighting fire to keep themselves warm on Wednesday.

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.