National Security Guard during Republic Day parade rehearsals on Wednesday.
National Security Guard during Republic Day parade rehearsals on Wednesday.

Temperature to dip from Thursday, dense fog in store: IMD

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the four-day spell of intense rain in Delhi and the National Capital Region, as the result of a western disturbance, ended in a hailstorm in some parts of the Capital around 7.30am on Wednesday.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2021 04:08 AM IST

Residents of the Capital on Wednesday woke up to a hailstorm, followed by a brief but intense spell of rainfall. The increased moisture in the air, along with slow winds, which also changed direction, also caused a rise in the city’s pollution.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the four-day spell of intense rain in Delhi and the National Capital Region, as the result of a western disturbance, ended in a hailstorm in some parts of the Capital around 7.30am on Wednesday.

IMD data shows that Delhi has over the last four days received 56.6mm rainfall, the highest in January since 1999, when the city received 59.7mm. In 2019, the city had received 54.1 mm rain in the month.

Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre, said the western disturbance crossed Delhi on Wednesday afternoon.

“The impact of the western disturbance was leading to higher maximum and minimum temperatures in Delhi and NCR towns. Temperatures will start dipping from Thursday,. There is also a forecast of dense fog over Delhi in the coming two days,” Srivastava said.

The minimum temperature at the Safdarjung observatory, which is considered the official marker of the city, on Wednesday was 13°C, six notches above the season’s normal. The maximum temperature was 21.3°C, two above normal. The met department’s forecast said that by January 8, the minimum temperature will fall to around 8°C.

Scientists said that low wind speeds and dense fog on Wednesday pushed Delhi’s air quality into the ‘poor’ category. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recordings show that the overall air quality index (AQI) of Delhi on Wednesday was 226, in the ‘poor’ zone. On Tuesday, the AQI was 140, categorised as ‘moderate’.

VK Soni, head of IMD’s environment monitoring and research centre, said the AQI is expected to deteriorate further on Thursday as there is a forecast of dense fog and calm winds.

“On Wednesday too, we saw foggy conditions throughout the day, which led to an accumulation of pollution. Air quality is expected to worsen till January 9, when another western disturbance will cross Delhi and lead to light rain in certain parts. Wind speeds will improve and pollution particles will start dispersing,” said Soni.

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