The season of chill appears to be all but over. Over the past two weeks, the mercury has been hovering around normal and above-normal temperatures, calling it curtains for this year’s winter rather prematurely.
Unfortunately for Delhiites, this winter has been a short, warm and foggy affair.
“The days of below-normal temperatures are not likely to come back. The minimum temperatures this month have been high,” said SC Bhan, director, India Meteorological Department (IMD).
This winter, the lowest minimum temperature was 5.2 degrees Celsius, merely two degrees below normal.
“This year, the sustained fog and clouds did not let the chill set in the nights,” Bhan said.
This year saw 172 dense fog hours at Delhi airport area—the second highest ever.
Cold-wave conditions—when the minimum temperatures are at least five degrees below normal for successive days—were absent this season.
It is not every year that a typical Delhi winter misses out on a string of days with cold-wave conditions — a time when the weather throws up some of the coldest days of the season.
“While J&K and Himachal Pradesh saw cold-wave conditions, there was no impact on Delhi,” said O.P. Sharma, chief meteorologist at Skymet.
“This year, we also did not have the ‘dry wind chill’ effect — characteristic of the city’s winter,” he added.
Instead, this year, there were cold day conditions for nine days in January, when the maximum temperatures remained at least five degrees below the normal mark of 21 degrees Celsius.
But the cold days did not last long and the mercury rose unseasonably, touching the wrong side of twenties. It resulted in the weather becoming quite muggy for this time of the year.
On January 29, in fact, the day temperatures rose to a summer-like 28 degrees Celsius, the second warmest January day in the past 10 years.
The trend continued on Sunday, when the mercury stayed put at 23 degrees Celsius, around two degrees warmer than expected and the minimum was 8.5, again a degree warmer than normal.