For the first time since the India Meteorological Department started maintaining a record of temperatures in 1969, the maximum temperature for Delhi was in single digit on Wednesday.
A high of 9.7 degree Celsius was recorded at Palam and it was 9.8 degree at the Safdarjung station of the Met office. This is 11 degrees below the normal temperature for this time of the year.
The weatherman predicted that the intense cold spell will continue on Thursday.
The minimum temperature on Wednesday was slightly higher than the previous day at 4.8 degree Celsius, which too is two notches below normal.
Tuesday recorded the lowest temperature of the season at 4 degree Celsius.
The Met department has attributed the sharp dip in temperatures to the weather phenomenon in the past three days — dense fog formation, making and breaking of strong winds and no sunshine.
“With the persistent and thick cover of fog over Delhi during last three days, maximum temperatures have hovered between 13 degree Celsius and 15 degree Celsius on December 31 and January 1. The minimum temperatures were recorded between 4 degree Celsius and 5 degree Celsius. On Wednesday, however, the city continued to experience a thick cover of fog which lasted late till noon,” Deputy DGM and head of the Regional Met Centre for Delhi region Dr O P Singh said.
Delhi also had strong cold winds coming from the Himalayan region to northwest at a speed of 10 to 20 km per hour till late afternoon.
“The winds facilitated lifting of the dense fog cover from the surface, but it remained at the lower stratus and covered the sky, resulting in no sunshine. This was the third day in succession when Delhi did not get any sunshine, which is important for the day temperature to rise. Though the winds coming from colder areas and the mountains helped in lifting the fog, they pulled the day temperature down,” Singh said.
The Met department forecast a change in wind pattern over the next 48 hours. The day temperature is likely to rise by 2 to 3 degree Celsius on Thursday. The minimum temperature is expected to be close to 4 degree Celsius.
“Dense fog conditions will set in on Wednesday night and continue till Thursday morning, but duration and intensity will gradually reduce over the next three days,” Singh said.
Dense fog covers city
100 flights affected
4 international flights diverted
7 flights cancelled
50 trains run behind schedule
23 trains rescheduled
10 trains cancelled