After a day’s respite, dense fog returned to Delhi on Tuesday, dropping visibility to 50 metres in some parts of the city, thereby affecting train and flight operations.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials, the visibility recorded at 5:30am in Safdarjung was 500 metres and 50 metres in Palam. At 8:30am, visibility in Safdarjung dropped further to 400 m, but improved in Palam to 200m.
The low visibility left many train passengers stranded in the national capital, because as many as 40 inbound trains were delayed. Railway officials also said that two trains coming into the city were cancelled.
Some flights were also delayed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Air India officials have confirmed that all their flights, except four, were held up because of the weather conditions. Early morning Air India flights operating to Pune, Ahmedabad, Male via Thiruvananthapuram, and Kochi, were unaffected.
The national capital is expected to be engulfed in this vision-obscuring cloud of fog until the New Year’s Day. The IMD has forecast that the fog is expected to thicken on Thursday.
The maximum and minimum temperature on Wednesday is expected to be 23 and 7 degrees Celsius respectively.
A Regional Weather Forecasting Centre (RWFC) scientist said that easterly winds would start from Thursday, and are expected to prevail until Monday. “As a result, fog density is very likely to increase over the northern plains,” he said.
The RWFC had earlier forecast shallow fog for Tuesday, but residents were treated to a low visibility morning when the fog intensified unexpectedly. “Usually a day after the western disturbance passes, there is a chance of fog. A western disturbance passed over on Christmas day, but the day after, the fog improved. So we were not expecting the fog on Tuesday,” explained an official.
The scientist at the RWFC said that the fog may have intensified because of the remnant moisture in the air. “The dip in temperatures, brought on by the cool winds, may also be responsible,” he said.
Temperature has dropped to 9.3 degrees Celsius on Tuesday morning, and is not expected to peak over 23 degrees Celsius.