Dense fog set to hit Delhi for two daysUpdated: Dec 16, 2018, 07:10 IST
Weather officials predicted dense fog on Sunday and Monday, and said that the days will become colder and hazier over the next week as the winter advances.
According to officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Palam reported the season’s first very dense fog on Friday when visibility dropped to less than 50m. The Safdarjung observatory, which is taken to be a representative of Delhi’s weather, will on Saturday see dense fog – which in meteorological glossary describes conditions where the visibility is in the range of 50-200m.
A senior airport official said that most aircraft are equipped to handle fogs and can take off and land in such conditions without delay, though there may be an impact on train schedules once the fog stretches to more parts of northern India.
The national capital is likely to be engulfed in a dense fog cover from Sunday for the next two days, officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Saturday.
Officials said that even though Palam had encountered the season’s first very dense fog on Friday, when visibility dropped to less than 50m. Sunday’s fog is likely to be the season’s first dense fog at Safdarjung observatory, which is taken to be a representative of Delhi’s weather.
“We are expecting moderate to dense fog on Sunday and Monday during the early morning hours. Thereafter, there would be haze throughout the day,” said a senior official of the IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.
While ‘very dense fog’ is a condition when visibility drops below 50m, ‘dense fog’ is a condition when visibility ranges between 50m and 200m. If the visibility is between 200m and 500m it is said to be ‘moderate fog’ and when visibility is between 500m and 1,000m, it is tagged as ‘shallow fog’. Beyond 1,000m is called ‘mist’.
A senior airport official said that most aircraft are equipped to handle fog conditions and can take off and land in such conditions. “On Friday night, two flights witnessed minor delays. There is a fog forecast for the next two days. We will have to see if it is dense enough to slow down operations,” the official said.
On Saturday, the visibility at Safdarjung had dropped to 400m at 8pm and to 600m at 7pm in Palam.
“Easterly winds are gushing in because of which the relative humidity is increasing. The wind speed is also not high. Because of this, we are expecting some moderate to dense fog on Sunday and Monday,” said BP Yadav, deputy director general of IMD.
On average, Delhi encounters 50 fog days in a year, of which 15 fog days are mostly in December. In January, there are around 17 fog days.
The IMD has also forecast that both the day and night temperatures are expected to drop by the middle of the week.
On Saturday, while the night temperature was 8.2 degrees Celsius, which is normal for this time of the year, the day temperature was 22.7 degrees Celsius, which was one degree below normal.
“By December 18, we expect the night temperature to drop to around 6 degrees Celsius and the day temperature to around 21 degrees Celsius,” a senior official of the IMD said.