IMD forecasts dense fog, ‘cold day’ for Delhi on Republic Day | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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IMD forecasts dense fog, ‘cold day’ for Delhi on Republic Day

Jan 25, 2024 10:22 PM IST

The maximum is expected to be between 17°C and 20°C at India Gate and the minimum to hover between 5°C and 7°C

Moderate to dense fog is likely to cover Delhi on Friday morning, with visibility predicted to plummet to 100m till about 8.30am before the skies begin to clear up to some extent, the India Meteorological Department said in a weather bulletin on Thursday, in which it also forecast “cold day” conditions in parts of the city.

On Thursday, Delhi recorded dense fog for around seven hours from 1 am to 8 am, delaying over 50 flights at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport. At least 24 trains were also delayed by over an hour, the Northern Railway said. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)
On Thursday, Delhi recorded dense fog for around seven hours from 1 am to 8 am, delaying over 50 flights at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport. At least 24 trains were also delayed by over an hour, the Northern Railway said. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

According to the prediction, visibility will dip to as low as 100 metres till 8.30 am before it begins improving to 500-800 metres by 10 am and further to 800-1,500 metres by 10.30 am, the prediction said, with an accompanying orange alert that is sounded as a general caution for people to be careful because of the weather.

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While IMD forecasts are often wanting for accuracy, the fog is likely to clear up enough for people to have a general view of the Republic Day parade, which will start from Vijay Chowk, cross the Kartavya Path and culminate at the Red Fort, when it starts at 10.30 am.

The alert for Friday also includes prediction of “cold day” conditions in isolated places of Delhi. The maximum is expected to be between 17°C and 20°C at India Gate and the minimum to hover between 5°C and 7°C. No rain is expected.

On Thursday, Delhi recorded dense fog for around seven hours from 1 am to 8 am, delaying over 50 flights at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport. At least 24 trains were also delayed by over an hour, the Northern Railway said.

The Capital on Thursday recorded a sharp dip in minimum temperature, which touched 4.8°C — three notches below normal. It was 8.3°C a day earlier.

Safdarjung, representative of Delhi’s weather, recorded a maximum temperature of 20.5°C — a degree below normal, while Mungeshpur in northwest Delhi logged the capital’s lowest maximum at 14.1°C. No “cold day” conditions were recorded.

IMD classifies it as a “cold day” when the maximum temperature is 4.5 degrees or more below the normal mark, with the minimum also being below 10 degrees.

Across National Capital Region (NCR), Gurugram recorded a maximum of 17.6°C and Noida 17.2°C. The minimum at both these stations was 6.1 and 6.4°C respectively.

“We saw a sharp dip in minimum temperature, which was mostly due to relatively clear skies at night and cold northerly winds. We expect similar night-time temperature on Friday too,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, scientist at IMD, stating even though dense fog is likely on Friday, it should dissipate by the time the Republic Day celebrations start.

“We saw dense fog, with visibility going down to 50 metres at around 1 am and this continued till 8 am, before it became moderate and eventually shallow by 10 am. A similar pattern is expected on Friday,” he added.

Delhi also saw a marginal increase in wind speed, which led to an improvement in air quality, which returned to the “very poor” category. The 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 332 (very poor) at 4 pm on Thursday. Delhi had recorded its second “severe” air day of the month on Wednesday, when the average AQI was recorded at 409 (severe) at 4 pm.

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in the NCR had held an emergency meeting on Wednesday to review Delhi’s air quality, but has decided against invoking stage-3 measures of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), citing a possible improvement in air quality in the next 24 hours.

Forecasts show air quality is unlikely to touch “severe” for the rest of the month now, possibly improving to “poor” by Saturday. “Delhi’s air quality is likely to be in the ‘very poor’ category on January 26 and further improve to ‘poor’ on January 27. The air quality is likely to be in ‘very poor’ again on January 28 and remain between ‘poor’ and ‘very poor’ for the subsequent six days,” said the Early Warning System (EWS) for Delhi, an air quality forecasting model under the ministry of earth sciences.

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