Cold Waves gripped the national capital for second day in a row on Friday, with the minimum temperature recorded at a numbing 1.8 degrees Celsius in Southwest Delhi's Ayanagar, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) data.
The Safdarjung observatory, Delhi's primary weather station, recorded a minimum temperature of four degrees Celsius against three degrees Celsius on Thursday, 4.4 degrees on Wednesday and 8.5 degrees on Tuesday. The weather stations located at Lodhi Road, Ayanagar and Ridge in Delhi recorded minimum temperatures of 3.8 degrees Celsius, 1.8 degrees and 3.3 degrees, respectively.
On Thursday, Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of three degrees Celsius, lowest in January in two years, thus making it cooler than several hill stations. The freezing weather conditions is straining power grids and poses threats to the homeless and animals.
A dense layer of fog enveloped northwest India, and adjoining central and eastern parts of the country. The excessive fog, affecting visiblity has disrupted the road and rail traffic movement. A minimum of 26 trains were delayed by 1 to 10 hours due to foggy weather conditions, a Railway spokesperson said as temperatures continue to drop.
At 5:30 am in the morning, the Palam observatory recorded 200 metres of visibility level, near the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The weather office defines'very dense' fog as when visibility is between 0 and 50 metres, 51 and 200 metres is 'dense', 201 and 500 metres 'moderate', and 501 and 1,000 metres 'shallow'.
As per a senior IMD official, there will be some relief from the extreme cold weather under the influence of a fresh Western Disturbance, likely to affect northwest India starting January 7.
In the plains, the Met office labels a cold wave when the minimum temperature dips to four degrees Celsius or the minimum temperature is 10 degrees or below and 4.5 notches below the normal. A severe cold wave occurs the minimum temperature dips to two degrees Celsius or the departure from the normal is more than 6.4 degrees. A cold day is when the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 10 degrees Celsius below the normal and the maximum temperature is at least 4.5 degrees below the normal. A severe cold day is when the maximum is 6.5 degrees Celsius or more below the normal.
(with PTI inputs)