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Cold wave forecast in Delhi for next 3 days, temperature likely to drop to 4 degrees

Officials said that the cold wave conditions may be witnessed only at isolated places in the city on December 20, 21 and 22.

delhi Updated: Dec 19, 2018 08:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi weather,cold wave
A man wrapped in a quilt drinks tea as he sits under a flyover on a cold winter morning in New Delhi on December 18.(REUTERS)

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a cold wave warning and has forecast that night temperature in Delhi could further drop to around 4 degrees in the coming days. The mercury dropped to 5.1 degrees Celsius in the early hours of Tuesday, making it the coldest December day since 2015.

Officials said that the cold wave conditions may be witnessed only at isolated places in the city on December 20, 21 and 22.

On Tuesday morning, the temperature plummeted to 5.1 degrees Celsius, three notches below the season’s average, from Monday’s 6.2 degrees Celsius. The mercury had touched 5 degrees Celsius on December 20, 2015.

According to IMD officials, the main reasons behind the unusual drop in Tuesday’s minimum temperature was clear skies and strong cold winds blowing over Delhi due to heavy snowfall in parts of northwest India.

“The heavy snowfall — early for this time of the year — in Jammu and Kashmir, parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, has triggered cold winds that are reaching Delhi. The predicted cold wave conditions are mainly because the sky is clear and in the absence of any cloud layer, the cold winds rapidly cools the earth. This phenomenon is called radiation cooling,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of regional weather forecasting centre (RWFC), IMD.

Meteorologists said that while a clear sky helps the night temperature drop and pushes the day temperature up, a cloudy sky does the opposite.

As per IMD forecast, the sky is expected to remain clear till December 22.

Private weather forecaster Skymet too has issued a warning for cold wave conditions in parts of Delhi over the next couple of days. “Over the next three to four days, the night temperature is going to remain below normal. It may drop to 4 degrees from Thursday, which would lead to cold wave condition,” said GP Sharma, president of meteorology at Skymet.

The minimum temperature on Wednesday is expected to settle around 5 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature is likely to hover around 23 degrees Celsius.

However, the minimum temperature is expected to rise by around 1-2 degrees Celsius from December 23, as a western disturbance is likely to approach Delhi bringing clouds with it.

Meanwhile, the Air Quality Index (AQI) value, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), on Tuesday was recorded at 353, in the ‘very poor’ category. The air quality in the city is likely to deteriorate, as wind speed could slow down over the next two days.

First Published: Dec 19, 2018 08:34 IST

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