At 8.8° C, Chandigarh feels coldest-ever December day

Temp dips 12 notches below normal, IMD issues amber alert; cold conditions likely to continue till New Year
Girls taking a stroll at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Thursday. The IMD has predicted dense to very dense fog with visibility as low as 50 metres on isolated stretches of city roads(RAVI KUMAR/HT)
Girls taking a stroll at Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh on Thursday. The IMD has predicted dense to very dense fog with visibility as low as 50 metres on isolated stretches of city roads(RAVI KUMAR/HT)
Updated on Dec 27, 2019 12:23 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByRajanbir Singh, Chandigarh

Chandigarh froze to the bone on Thursday breaking the 37-year December chill record. Gloomy overcast conditions and icy winds made it the coldest December day since 1982 with the mercury touching a maximum of 8.8 degrees Celsius, 12 notches below normal.

As per India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials, this is the all-time lowest day temperature in December recorded at the Sector 39 observatory. The observatory doesn’t have the weather record prior to 1982.

The IMD has also issued an amber alert in Chandigarh and parts of Punjab and Haryana as dense fog and bone-chilling conditions are likely to continue in the coming days. An amber warning means it is quite likely that bad weather will affect people and they are advised to be prepared.

The record of lowest day temperature was breached on Wednesday when maximum temperature was recorded at 9 degrees Celsius. IMD officials say if the gloomy conditions prevail, maximum temperature can fall even further in the coming days.

On Thursday, Chandigarh remained colder than Manali, where maximum temperature was 10 degrees Celsius, Dharamshala 10.8 degrees Celsius and Shimla 11.2 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature too took a dip on Thursday. The city recorded a minimum 6.5 degrees Celsius, which is also the season’s lowest.

IMD director Surender Paul said: “Satellite images show a blanket of fog over the region leading to a dip in temperature. There are no strong winds in the region and similar conditions are likely to remain till year-end.”

There will be some respite from the cold conditions after December 31 due to weak western disturbances. “Though the maximum temperature will go up after January 1, the minimum temperature is expected to fall sharply. There will be a confluence of low-level easterly winds and western disturbances which can also result in light rain,” he said.

As per the IMD, a severe cold day is declared when the maximum temperature falls by more than 6.5 degrees below normal and minimum is 10 degrees below normal. “Dense to very dense fog with visibility falling down below 50 meters is expected on isolated stretches of city roads. Caution should be taken, especially while driving in the mornings to avoid mishaps,” said Paul.

Two flights cancelled, many delayed

Gloomy weather continued to affect air operations at the Chandigarh International airport. Go Air’s 8.40am Delhi to Chandigarh flight was cancelled due to bad weather in national capital. Similarly Air India’s Chandigarh-Dharamshala flight could not be operated due to bad weather in the hills.

The airport spokesperson said that barring a few minor delays, weather in Chandigarh was fine for flight operations. Two flights were cancelled due to low visibility at the source destinations.

Air India’s Chandigarh-Nanded flight was delayed by 40 minutes, Go Air’s Mumbai flight by 22 minutes, Go Air’s Srinagar flight by 30 minutes, Air Asia’s Bengaluru flight by half-an-hour, Indigo’s Mumbai flight by 40 minutes and Vistara’s Delhi flight by 30 minutes.

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