New Delhi: Anyone living in Delhi can attest to the severity of the cold wave this winter season. The national capital, this January, saw 50 hours of dense fog so far, a senior India Meteorological Department (IMD) official RK Jenamani said on Tuesday (January 10). In addition, this is the third worst cold spell in the last 23 years, informed the IMD scientist. Before weather conditions get better, there’s a prediction for a second cold spell from January 14.
Speaking about the recent cold spell, the IMD official told ANI, “During these five days, the temperature was around two to four degrees. As per the data available with us, this was the third worst cold spell in 23 years. From the year 2000 to the year 2023, we find that the 3-9 Jan cold spell was the third worst cold spell in the last 23 years.”
Second cold spell warning
The second cold spell in North India is predicted to begin on January 14. There may be light rain and drizzle in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Western UP and North Rajasthan, said IMD’s Jenamani.
Snowfall in Himalayan states
In Kashmir, heavy rain or snow is expected on January 12. Similarly, rain or snowfall is predicted in Himachal and Uttarakhand between January 11-14.
“There will be fresh cold spells over northwestern and Punjab. We have not confirmed but we are reviewing whether the daily temperature will further come down to three degrees or not. Western Disturbance is very active and there are chances that there might be a cold spell from Jan 14,” said Jenamani.
He further said that although the condition is improving, the worst condition persists over Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.”So far, the condition is improving, but Bihar and Uttar Pradesh remain in the worst condition,” he said.
Delhi logs 50 hours of dense fog so far this January
The national capital saw 50 hours of dense fog in January so far, the maximum since 2019.
“Delhi recorded a minimum temperature equal to or less than 4 degrees Celsius on 7 days (January 3 to January 9) in 2013, with the lowest minimum temperature of 1.9 degrees Celsius on January 6,” said Jenamani.
Why is there a cold wave in North India
The senior meteorologist attributed the long spell of intense cold to a large gap between two western disturbances, which meant frosty winds from the snow-clad mountains blew in for a longer-than-usual period.
The city has recorded below-normal maximum temperatures this month so far due to dense fog that reduced sunshine hours.
Low day temperatures mean early cooling and early fog formation in the evening, he said.
The Safdarjung observatory logged a minimum temperature of 3.8 degrees Celsius on Monday, 1.9 degrees Celsius on Sunday, 2.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday, 4 degrees Celsius on Friday, and 3 degrees Celsius on Thursday.
Monday was also the fifth consecutive day that Delhi’s minimum temperature was lower than most hill stations in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Chilly weather in Delhi since the start of January strained power grids and posed challenges to homeless people. It also prompted the Delhi government to extend winter vacations in schools till January 15.
(With ANI and PTI inputs)