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Met wipes the fog off figures

Even though the mercury dipped to record-breaking depths this winter, a more “heartwarming” record is going to be set on the fog front. Sidhartha Roy reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 18, 2011 01:20 IST
Sidhartha Roy

Even though the mercury dipped to record-breaking depths this winter, a more “heartwarming” record is going to be set on the fog front.

The Met department has recorded 50 hours of dense fog at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) this winter, which as of now, is the second lowest in the past 15 years. Though winter is still far from over, the weatherman doesn’t foresee too many foggy days ahead. “There could be isolated cases of dense fog in the next couple of weeks, but a persistent spell of densefog is now ruled out,” said RK Jenamani, director-in-charge, IGIA Met unit. “The airport wouldn’t see a major spell of fog as per the medium range model predictions,” he said.

To its credit, the Met department had predicted in November 2009, that the fog this winter would be less harsh than usual. The airport had witnessed 174 hours of dense fog in 2009-2010, the highest in nearly 10 years, and 167 hours in 2008-2009. Jenamani had said that due to abundant rainfall in Delhi during last monsoon, there would be less extreme fog conditions in the winter. “There could be some cases of sudden fog in the next couple of weeks, but even then we expect the fog hours this winter to be at least third lowest in the past 15 years,” he said.

This winter, the airport witnessed a few days of utter chaos as dense fog appeared suddenly in December. Passengers didn’t have to face many problems due to fog in January. The IGIA recorded 30 hours of dense fog in December 2010, and 25 hours of dense fog in January so far.

Though December 2009 didn’t see much fog-related disruptions at the airport, January 2010 took the tally of dense fog hours to 174 with continuous fog for days. More than 2,000 flights were delayed and 137 had to be diverted in January that year alone.

Sunny, but windy start to week

Even as the city saw a clear start to the week on Monday, icy winds blowing throughout the day made Delhiites shiver. According to the weatherman, conditions are likely to remain the same for the next few days.

“The maximum and minimum temperatures on Monday were recorded at 20.1 degrees Celsius and 7.5 degrees Celsius, respectively,” said an India Meteorological Department official. According to the Met office, Tuesday will witness light mist in the morning. However, the day will be clear and sunny accompanied by winds.

“The maximum and minimum temperatures will hover between 21 and 7 degrees Celsius. It will be windy like it was on Monday,” the official added.