At 12.5°C, Delhi logs lowest temperature in October in 26 years
The national capital recorded a minimum temperature of 12.5 degree Celsius on Thursday, the lowest in October in 26 years, because of a thin cloud cover and other weather conditions including slow wind speeds, scientists at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
The normal minimum temperature for this time of the year is 15-16 degrees Celsius, according to the IMD.
The last time Delhi recorded such a low temperature in October was in 1994, said Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD’s regional forecasting centre. The city had recorded a minimum temperature of 12.3 degree Celsius on October 31, 1994.
The city recorded the all-time lowest temperature for this month -- 9.4 degree C -- on October 31, 1937. The absence of a cloud cover was among the reasons for the below-normal minimum temperature at this time of the year, the senior IMD scientist said. “The main reason behind this is that we did not have much cloud cover, which causes the surface to cool rapidly. In the next two-three days, too, the minimum temperature is expected to be around 12 degrees Celsius,” Srivastava said, adding that another possible reason was slow wind speeds that allow the formation of mist and fog.
Minimum temperatures are likely to dip to 11 degrees Celsius in Delhi by November 1, the IMD scientist added.
Low temperature and low wind speed also exacerbate air pollution in the city -- which has become an annual health crisis with the onset of winter every year -- as pollutants settle closer to the land and are unable to disperse. “Temperature plays a huge role in determining the pollution levels. If the early morning temperature is low then the pollution particles get trapped closer to the ground. Low temperature was one of the reasons that kept the pollution levels close to the severe zone on Thursday,” said VK Soni, head of IMD’s environment monitoring research centre.
Delhi on Thursday recorded an average Air Quality Index (AQI) reading of 395 (“very poor” category) while the air quality was “severe” (above 400) in some parts of the capital earlier in the day.