Chill sets in as Delhi braces for cold wave

By, New Delhi
Jan 16, 2023 04:38 AM IST

On Sunday, the Capital’s Safdarjung station, the official weather station for the city, recorded a minimum of 4.7°C, but conditions were chillier at other locations, with Jafarpur recording 2.6°C, Lodhi Road 3.8°C and Ayanagar 3°C – technically entering cold wave territory.

The minimum temperature recorded early on Sunday dropped drastically, falling over five degrees from 24 hours prior and three notches lower than what is normal for this time of the year, and was expected to plummet further overnight as icy winds from the Himalayas descended over the northern plains.

IMD, which has predicted a low of 3°C at Safdarjung, issued a yellow alert for the Capital for three days between January 16 and 18.(PTI)
IMD, which has predicted a low of 3°C at Safdarjung, issued a yellow alert for the Capital for three days between January 16 and 18.(PTI)

The Capital’s Safdarjung station, the official weather station for the city, recorded a minimum of 4.7°C, but conditions were chillier at other locations, with Jafarpur recording 2.6°C, Lodhi Road 3.8°C and Ayanagar 3°C – technically entering cold wave territory.

Nights were even colder in other parts of north India, with Churu recording -2.5°C and Bikaner 1.2°C.

Also Read: - 4 degrees in Rajasthan; cold wave alerts for these states | Top updates

“Following the western disturbance and the fresh spell of snowfall till January 13, we are now seeing a gradual dip in temperatures across the northern plains. Strong northwesterly winds are blowing towards Delhi and with clear skies being seen, night-time temperature is dipping rapidly,” said an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official, asking not to be named.

IMD, which has predicted a low of 3°C at Safdarjung, issued a yellow alert for the Capital for three days between January 16 and 18. A yellow alert urges citizens to take extra precautions to account for the weather conditions.

IMD classifies it as a cold wave when the minimum temperature is 4.5 degrees or lower than the normal, or when it drops to below 4°C.

Also Read: Delhi temperature won't dip to subzero, says agency amid -4 prediction for North India

The Safdarjung station had recorded five consecutive cold wave days between January 5 and January 9, making it the longest cold wave streak for January since 2013.

Unlike the minimum, Delhi’s maximum did not show a sharp dip, helped largely due to bright sunshine. The peak day temperature was recorded at 17.8°C – 0.6 degrees lower than Saturday’s maximum, and 2°C below normal.

Temperatures are only expected to start rising from January 19 onwards, when a new western disturbance — a moisture-bearing wind system that brings in snow to the mountains, starts to influence the region.

So far this winter, the lowest minimum recorded at Safdarjung was 1.9°C on January 8. The lowest minimum across any Delhi station this winter was 1.5°C at the Ridge station on January 7.

Met officials said Delhi did not report any fog on Sunday, with the lowest visibility recorded at 1,500 metres. IMD classifies it as ‘shallow’ fog when visibility dips below 1,000 metres; as ‘moderate’ fog when it is between 200 and 500 metres and as ‘dense’ fog when it is below 200 metres.

Forecasts show Delhi is likely to record shallow fog on Monday morning, while moderate fog is likely on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Met office said cold wave to severe cold wave conditions prevailed in parts of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and west Madhya Pradesh on Sunday.

Many parts of northwest and southeast Rajasthan recorded a minimum temperature in the range of 1 to 3 degrees Celsius.

The weather bureau said that minimum temperatures are likely to fall further by about 2°C over many parts of northwest and central India till January 17-18 and cold wave to severe cold wave conditions are very likely over many parts of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana, and Delhi during this period.

“Ground Frost likely at isolated places over Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan from January 16 to 18,” it said.

Night temperatures in most places of Kashmir settled below the freezing point. Srinagar recorded a low of minus 0.6 degrees Celsius on Saturday night — half a degree down from the night before.

The minimum in Kupwara, a frontier district, settled at minus 1.3 degrees Celsius, and at Pahalgam in Anantnag district, the low was minus 10.9 degrees Celsius.

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