The cold wave is back and mercury is falling almost at the speed of the stock index. After Monday’s 3.8 degrees Celsius, it was a near-freezing 2.6 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, making it one of the coldest days this winter and the coldest January 22 in five years.
The average temperature at this time of the year generally hovers around 7 degrees Celsius, but Tuesday’s was five degrees lower than normal, said a India Meteorological Department officer.
The cold wave conditions are due to snowfall and rain in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand. “The nippy winds, called Northerlies, come in from the snow-clad states and add to the chill,” said the official. On Monday, the speed of this wind was about 18 km per hour; it slowed a bit on Tuesday. This, however, failed to warm up things because the gray cloud cover did not let the mercury rise through the day. As a result, the maximum temperature was 15ºC — the lowest for this day in the last five years.
In the past one week, the chill had been missing in Delhi because rain-bearing clouds or western disturbances had arrived in North India.
However, the forecast for the next few days is encouraging. “Another western disturbance will make the weather warmer till Friday. But after Friday, there could be some rain in the Capital and other northwestern areas, causing the mercury to dip again,” said J.V. Singh of the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting.