No respite from chilly weather, foggy conditions, says IMD
Episodes of dense to moderate fog, accompanied by reduced visibility and chilly conditions, are likely to persist in the region till at least January 25, as per the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) forecast. Officials also said that another prolonged cold spell is expected to begin sometime next week, after the passage of another western disturbance over north India.
On Tuesday, Gurugram woke up to a minimum temperature of 9 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 16.8 degrees Celsius, as compared to a minimum of 5.9 degrees Celsius and maximum of 19.8 degrees Celsius, on Monday. “The minimum temperature has risen slightly, but since some Himalayan regions have recently experienced sub-zero temperatures, winds blowing from the north on Tuesday afternoon had a chilling effect,” Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the IMD’s regional forecasting centre in Delhi.
Official forecast predicts that it will not get much warmer for at least another week. As per the IMD, the temperature in Gurugram will touch a maximum of 18 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 10 degrees Celsius till January 25. “There is no major change expected for at least another four days. There is a lot of moisture in the atmosphere, which turns into fog in the early mornings, when it is coldest. Visibility in many parts of Delhi-NCR will be poor, maybe dipping to as little as 200 metres in some places.”
Srivastava also cautioned of another cold wave that may arrive in the region on or soon after January 25. “The minimum temperature may again dip to between four and seven degrees Celsius in some places. There is another western disturbance heading our way in the next week or so. There may be a slight fluctuation in temperature before that, but once the weather system passes leaving behind its residual moisture, the minimum temperature will drop again,” he added.
Air quality in the city, meanwhile, remained in the “very poor” category of the air quality index (AQI), with a daily average AQI of 366 on Tuesday. This is up from Monday’s AQI of 292, in the “poor” quality of the AQI. As per the early air quality warning system for Delhi-NCR, “Air quality is likely to improve marginally but remain in Very Poor category on 20.01.2021, improving to Poor category on 21.01.2021.”
Experts attributed the spike in pollution levels to a cooler daytime temperature on Monday, but said it would not be a prolonged episode of bad air. “Strong northwesterly winds are going to be blowing over the region, starting Wednesday, at speeds of at least 12kmph, touching 20kmph in some places. This will create a sharp nip in the air, but, during the day, we may have some clear patches of sky and better dispersal of pollutants,” said Sachin Panwar, a city-based independent air quality scientist.
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