Normal life was thrown out of gear as dense fog engulfed the region, reducing visibility to less than 50 metres in the wee hours on Saturday along with a sharp fall of 6.9 degrees Celsius in temperature in the tricity.
All 18 fights emanating from Chandigarh airport were cancelled since no landing or flight permission was given due to poor visibility during the whole day. Visibility at the airport area was less than 100 metres. Even trains and buses to and fro from Chandigarh were adversely affected.
Meteorological department officials in Chandigarh said that moisture on Friday night had led to dense fog the following day.
The maximum temperature on Saturday was down by 6.9 degrees to 13.8 degrees C. The minimum was down a bit at 5.4 degrees from earlier 6.9 degrees. The visibility in the tricity increased to less than 150 metres during the daytime.
"The basic reason for the sudden dense fog is western disturbances in the northern region. Since the temperature is lower there, moisture is generated. Since the city experienced clear night on Friday apart from no air movement, moisture descended on the region by early morning, reducing visibility to less than 150-500 metres," said Surinder Paul, Met director.
"Last year, on this day, the maximum temperature was 22.8 degrees and minimum 6.2 degrees, apart from only traces of mist or fog. However, this year, the situation has turned a bit intense with advent of dense fog and the weather will prevail for the next 48 hours," added Paul.
Shatabdi train was late by an hour in the morning while it was running late by an hour-and-a-half in the evening.
According to Haryana roadways, although its buses were plying on different routes, they were running behind schedule by 2-3 hours.
Parveen Kumar, superintendent of Chandigarh railway station, said, "The trains have come in unusually late due to visibility issue. In the morning, the visibility was less than 100 metres and it was impossible for locomotive drivers to see anything. Farakka Express was cancelled while Howrah Mail was late by 13 hours. This is going to be difficult times, since dense fog will continue for another two days. Passengers should therefore brace themselves for the situation."
The Met department has predicted fog during night and morning hours and thereafter mainly clear sky.
2012: 13.8 5.4
2011: 22.8 6.2
2010: 20.1 4.4
2009: 22.6 6.6
2008: 22.6 12.0
2007: 20.1 7.8