As chill persists, IMD says maximum temperature in Delhi may rise
Parts of the national capital saw ‘cold day’ conditions for the fifth straight day on Monday, as low clouds over Delhi kept the sun at bay.
While Safdarjung, Delhi’s base station recorded a maximum temperature of 16.1 degrees Celsius (°C), Jafarpur was even colder at 13.2°C.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said it expects the maximum temperature to rise to around 18°C from Tuesday, but added that there is still a chance that isolated parts of Delhi could record cold day conditions, officials said.
Delhi is also expected to receive a spell of rain from January 21 till January 23, the weather office said.
The IMD classifies it a ‘cold’ day when the maximum temperature is 4.5 degrees or more below normal, while the minimum is below 10 degrees Celsius. It is classified as a ‘severe’ cold day when the maximum is 6.5 degrees or more below normal.
Delhi’s maximum temperature on Monday dipped, compared to the previous day, when it was 17.2°C, while it touched a season’s low of 14.8°C on Saturday.
RK Jenamani, scientist at IMD, said the last time Delhi saw such an extended spell of cold days was in December 2019. At the time, a seven-day spell of cold days extended into the first week of January 2020 as well.
Parts of Delhi also saw shallow fog on Monday, he said.
“Delhi recorded shallow fog at both Safdarjung and Palam, with visibility dropping to a low of 800 metres in the morning. However, upper-level fog still persisted and its impact could remain intact over Delhi on Tuesday as well. From Wednesday, the maximum should rise further and provide some respite,” Jenamani said.
He said Delhi is also expected to receive more rain before the month ends, with a drizzle expected on January 21 and 23, and a forecast of light rain on January 22.
“Another western disturbance will start to influence Delhi from January 20. We will see some drizzle on January 21 night, with light showers expected the next day. During this spell, the maximum temperature could drop again,” he said.
The overcast conditions have also led to a deterioration in air quality in the past 24 hours, with Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) plummeting into the ‘very poor’ zone on Monday. According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s 4pm bulletin, Delhi logged an AQI of 327 (very poor), worse than 264 (poor) on Sunday.
According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar), Delhi’s air quality is likely to improve in the next three days as wind speeds pick up.
“Maximum temperature and wind speed are likely to increase gradually for the next three days, enhancing ventilation of pollutants and leading to improvement in air quality. From January 21, the wind speed will pick up even more,” said Safar on Monday.
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