Delhi is experiencing an untimely chill. Minimum temperatures, which generally remain a comfortable 22 degrees celsius this time of the year, have dropped to a near-chilly 16 degrees celsius in the past seven days.
On October 15 last year, the mercury stood at 22 degrees Celsius. This year, it was 16.1 degrees. A study of temperatures of this time in the past five years reveal that 2007 is a clear aberration. The six-day (October 10-15) average in 2002 was 21.6 degrees Celsius, about five degrees higher than 2007.
Temperatures during the day, however, remain around 34 degrees Celsius. This means a maximum-minimum gulf of about 18 degrees Celsius.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) has a theory. Director BP Yadav said: "The northerly wind, which kisses the Himalayas before arriving here, are causing this chill. Ideally, it should have been the much warmer northwesterly wind blowing in the city this time of the year." Does this mean an early winter?
"It can't be ruled out," said JV Singh of National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting. "But we must keep observing for a longer period to be absolutely sure."