IMD scientists said the low maximum temperature could be attributed to the dense fog cover over Delhi in the early hours of Sunday.(Sanchit Khanna/ HT Photo)
IMD scientists said the low maximum temperature could be attributed to the dense fog cover over Delhi in the early hours of Sunday.(Sanchit Khanna/ HT Photo)

Minimum temperature in Delhi to fall from today, pollution to rise: IMD

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), while the minimum temperature at Delhi’s representative Safdarjung observatory was 8.8 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s normal, the maximum temperature did not increase much, and was six degrees below normal.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 01:20 AM IST

The maximum temperature in Delhi was six degrees below normal on Sunday, as a dense fog enveloped the Capital the early hours of the day. Scientists from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned that the city’s minimum temperature would fall from Monday, and a return of cold wave conditions — the third time this season — was likely.

According to the IMD, while the minimum temperature at Delhi’s representative Safdarjung observatory was 8.8 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s normal, the maximum temperature did not increase much, and was six degrees below normal. The maximum temperature recorded at the observatory was 15°C.

IMD scientists said the low maximum temperature could be attributed to the dense fog cover over Delhi in the early hours of Sunday.

Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre, said Sunday felt colder because the fog in the morning had risen further above the ground during the day. This means the fog layer that was closer to the surface in the morning rose higher as the day progressed, but did not clear. This blocked sunlight and did not allow the ground to get warm.

“On Sunday, the wind direction has also changed to north-westerly. From Monday, the minimum temperature will start falling and there is a possibility of cold wave-like conditions in many parts later in the week,” Srivastava said.

Dense to very dense fog reduced visibility over all of the Indo-Gangetic Plains on Sunday, according to IMD. Scientists said this persisted through the day in many north-western states.

“During the early morning, the relative humidity was 100% and cold north-westerly winds were blowing. A combination of the two led to the fog,” said Srivastava.

The dense fog also caused the pollution levels to rise in Delhi. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data shows that on Sunday the overall air quality index (AQI) in Delhi was 364, in the ‘very poor’ zone. On Saturday, the AQI was 326.

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (Safar) forecast that pollution levels will continue to rise till January 28.

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