An unusually warm R-Day | delhi | Hindustan Times
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An unusually warm R-Day

The continued absence of Delhi's notorious winter chill created one more record when it made the Republic-Day the warmest in the past five years by a huge margin, reports Avishek G Dastidar.

delhi Updated: Jan 27, 2009 00:39 IST
Avishek G Dastidar

The continued absence of Delhi's notorious winter chill created one more record when it made the Republic-Day on Monday the warmest in the past five years by a huge margin.

At 13.3 degrees Celsius, the minimum temperature was a good seven degrees warmer than what is considered normal this time of the season.

Last year, Delhiites celebrated the Republic Day in a chilling 4 degrees Celsius —almost 10 degrees colder than what it was on Monday. The wind-chill factor, that usually adds an extra nip in the air, was also absent.

“It was warm because the temperatures had been on a rising trend in the past few days due to the effects of an approaching rain-bearing system (Western Disturbance),” said S.C. Bhan, director of the Safdarjung unit of the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The maximum temperature, too, was four degrees above normal at 25.4 degrees Celsius.

Between 2004 and 2008, the highest minimum temperature — which indicates the chill factor — on the R-Day was 9 degrees Celsius in 2005. Other than that, it had always hovered between the 4 and 7-degree marks.

The average daily minimum temperature for January in the past 100 years being 7.3 degrees Celsius, it was also one of the warmest R-Days ever in the past 60 years.

With Tuesday seeing the beginning of the last week of the month, prevailing meteorological conditions are also set to make this one of the hottest January Delhi has ever seen.

The government’s National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) predicted that the minimum temperatures in the next five days are not likely to fall below a rather warm 12-degree-Celsius mark when ideally it should be around 7.

For Delhiites, it is a season lost. “Last winter was too lengthy and peppered with bone-chilling days (the coldest was 1.9 degrees Celsius). This year the whole January felt almost like November. In fact on Monday afternoon we didn't need woolens,” said Simi Nair, an MNC-executive and a resident of Dwarka.

The weatherman had spotted the difference in this year’s winter right at the start when December, which generally brings in the first batch of chilly days before January, looked out of form.