This winter, the weather gods decided to be kind to the flyers as fog spared the Delhi airport.
This winter has recorded the second lowest dense fog hours in the past 15 years, according to the Met department. The Met unit at Indira Gandhi International Airport has recorded 50 hours of dense fog till date and there are scant chances of a spell of dense fog at the airport in February.
“This winter, December and January has only seen 50 hours of dense fog, while the average is 85 hours,” said said RK Jenamani, director-in-charge, IGIA Met unit.
“We have seen that if there is not much fog in these two months, there are not many chances of February witnessing long hours of dense fog.”
To its credit, the Met department had predicted in November 2010, that the fog this winter would be less harsh than normal. The airport had witnessed 174 hours of dense fog in 2009-2010, the highest in nearly 10 years and 167 hours of dense fog in 2008-2009.
Jenamani said due to abundant rainfall in Delhi during last year’s monsoon, there would be less extreme fog conditions in the winter. He said the amount of moisture in the atmosphere was not suited for the setting of long spells of dense fog.
“The empirical model for fog formation prepared by us was showing a negative trend and it was expected that fog would be less than the normal,” he said.
The lowest hours of dense fog recorded at the IGI airport was in the winter of 2007-2008 — 10 hours. IGI Airport recorded 30 hours of dense fog in December 2010 and 25 hours of dense fog in January 2011.
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.
IGIA is one of the worst fog- affected airports in the world and has witnessed unusual fog conditions in the past three years. While there was record fog in the winter of 2008-09 and 2009-10, fog between December 2007 and February 2008 was a record low.