Delhi records coldest day of season at 2.4 deg C, fog hits visibility
Delhi recorded its coldest day of the season on Saturday as the minimum temperature plummeted to 2.4 degrees Celsius in the morning, the weather office said.
Dense fog enveloped the city reducing visibility and affecting air traffic and vehicular movement in the streets. Several trains were also hit by the fog.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the Safdarjung Observatory, whose reading is considered the official marking for the city, recorded the minimum temperature at 2.4 degrees Celsius.
The observatories at Palam recorded the minimum temperature at 3.1 degrees Celsius, at Lodhi Road 1.7 degrees Celsius and at Aya Nagar 1.9 degrees Celsius.
Zero visibility was reported in Palam Observatory area, which neighbours the city airport, due to very dense fog.
Four flights have been diverted from Delhi airport, said an airport official. The official said the flights are operating at the airport under CAT III B conditions, which means that the runway visual range (RVR) is between 50 metre and 175 metre.
Delhi is going to experience cold wave and severe cold day conditions simultaneously till December 29, after which it could see a rise in day temperature, IMD has said.
A severe cold day is when the maximum temperature is 6.4 degrees Celsius lower than normal while cold wave conditions are recorded when the minimum or night temperature is below 4.5 degrees Celsius.
There can be a change in wind direction on Saturday to easterly, temporarily, but night temperatures will continue to fall.
The cold and increase in fog cover also pushed the air quality into the ‘severe’ zone from the ‘very poor’ category.
The air quality plunged to severe with the Air Quality Index (AQI) reading 407 at 7.30am, as against the overall AQI of 373, the previous day.
IMD scientists said air quality may deteriorate from December 28-29 due to an increase in fog cover and reduced wind speed.
However, it is likely to improve significantly on December 31 on account of a Western Disturbance, which will bring rainfall and hailstorm.
The minimum temperature at Safdarjung Observatory was 2.4 degrees Celsius on December 30, 2013, and 2.3 degrees Celsius on December 11, 1996. The all-time record of low is zero degrees on December 27 in 1930.
The weather department had said on Thursday that Delhi-NCR is expected to record its second-coldest December since 1901 with chilling cold continuing to sweep the region.
“The mean maximum temperature for December was less than 20 degrees Celsius only in 1919, 1929, 1961 and 1997,” an IMD official said.
In December this year, the mean maximum temperature (MMT) till Thursday was 19.85 degrees Celsius. It is expected to dip to 19.15 degrees Celsius by December 31, he said.
Most parts of the city have witnessed 13 consecutive “cold days” or a 13-day “cold spell” since December 14. The last time such a long cold spell was witnessed was in December 1997.
After 1992, Delhi has had cold spells only in four years - 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2014.
A terrorist was killed after he snatched the rifle of a constable and fired at a police party during the recovery of hidden weapons along the India-Pakistan border near Jammu late on Wednesday, a police officer said. Additional director general of police Mukesh Singh said the constable and the Pakistani terrorist Mohammad Ali Hussain, who was lodged in Jammu's Kot Bhalwal Jail, were injured during the recovery operation.
Delhi's air quality was in the satisfactory category on Thursday morning as partly overcast weather was expected with a maximum temperature of around 35C and a minimum 26C. On Wednesday, the average 24-hour AQI was 60 in the satisfactory category. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 severe.
The High Court of Karnataka has directed petitioners challenging the ward delimitation of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to get clarity from the Supreme Court over postponing the elections. Seven different public interest litigations (PILs) are challenging the delimitation exercise carried out in 243 wards of the city's civic agency. The HC therefore directed the petitioners to clarify this from the Supreme Court itself.
A LeT 'commander' from Pakistan succumbed to his injuries and a constable injured when the former snatched rifle from the latter and fired at a police party during the recovery of hidden weapons along the Indo-Pak international border in the Arnia sector of Jammu district late Wednesday, said officials. The deceased terrorist was a commander of terror group LeT, alias Qasim, alias Jehangir of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Hussain.
Five members of a family and their employer were found dead in two houses in Tawi Vihar locality in Sidhra on the outskirts of Jammu city late on Tuesday, police officials said on Wednesday, adding that they suspect the deaths to have been caused by poisoning. The police received a call from the sister of one of the deceased, who said that her brother was not responding to calls, Jammu SSP Chandan Kohli said.