The chill that has gripped the Capital in the fag end of winter may continue for the next three days, Met officials said on Monday — the day when the mercury slipped to 2.3 degrees Celsius, making it the third-coldest this season.
Even daytime provided no respite. The maximum temperature recorded an unseasonable 16.4 degrees Celsius, when it ideally should have been 22 degrees. “The cover of gray clouds did not let the sun warm up the earth,” said the weatherman at the Safdarjung unit of the Met department.
The disparity between current temperatures and those in the previous years is rather large. This day last year, for instance, the maximum was 28 degrees Celsius while the minimum was 12.3. In fact, Monday’s minimum was the lowest in the past six years.
The early morning chill is becoming so unbearable that Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram, is considering a second round of winter holidays for the nursery and preparatory classes. “I have convened a meeting in this regard. It would be best to protect kids from this cold wave,” said Shyama Chona, the principal.
The cold wave is not going to go away anytime soon. “Another round of rain and snowfall are approaching the hilly states. So the dry, icy winds would continue to bring in the chill to the Capital,” the Met official said.
Is this climate change? “Yes, there is some indicator of climate change,” said Dr S.K. Dash of the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, IIT, Delhi. “Long-term deviation of temperatures from established patterns and prevailing extreme weather conditions are the signs to look at,” he added.