Delhi’s mercury may drop to 6°C this week, says IMD as night-time chill returns
Colder north-westerly winds blowing from the snow-clad mountains will aid the dip in temperatures, with Delhi also expected to record spells of moderate fog for the remainder of this week, with a possibility of dense fog as well
Minimum temperatures in Delhi have started dipping once again, and could touch six degrees Celsius by Saturday, according to a forecast by the Met department, after consecutive western disturbances kept the city’s nights warmer than usual for much of the previous week.
Colder north-westerly winds blowing from the snow-clad mountains will aid the dip in temperatures, with Delhi also expected to record spells of moderate fog for the remainder of this week, with a possibility of dense fog as well.
Delhi recorded a maximum of 18.1 degrees Celsius on Monday – two degrees below normal for this time of the season. In comparison, it was 15 degrees on Sunday – the lowest maximum recorded so far all winter.
The minimum temperature on Monday, however, fell to 9.6 degrees, which is three notches above normal, but a sharp drop from 13.8 degrees Celsius on Sunday.
RK Jenamani, scientist at IMD, said the northern plains will once again see colder nights after the higher mountains received significant snowfall.
“Cold wave conditions are unlikely this week, but the minimum will start to drop slowly and could drop to 5-6 degrees by the end of the week. The maximum temperature on the other hand will return to 20-21 degrees,” Jenamani said, adding that there was an increase in the moisture levels too, which will contribute towards greater fog density.
“Delhi recorded shallow fog on Monday morning, with visibility over 500 metres in most parts, but this is expected to drop to 100-200 metres this week,” he said.
The withdrawal of the western disturbance on Sunday night also left Delhi’s air worse off.
The city’s air quality index (AQI) returned to the ‘moderate’ category after two days in the ‘satisfactory’ zone, with a 24-hour average reading of 151 as per the Central Pollution Control Board’s 4pm bulletin on Monday, up from 69 on Sunday.
An AQI between 51 and 100 is classified as ‘satisfactory, between 101 and 200 is ‘moderate’, between 201 and 300 is ‘poor’, between 301 and 400 is ‘very poor’ and over 400 is ‘severe’ as per the CPCB.
As per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar), a body under the Union ministry of earth sciences, Delhi may breathe relatively clean air until January 12, with wind speeds expected to drop from January 13.
“The maximum temperature has started to increase and wind speeds are also good at the moment, which will keep air quality around the ‘moderate’ range. From January 13 onwards, low wind speed is expected, which will lead to a deterioration in AQI,” said Gufran Beig, founder project director at Safar.