Dense fog envelopes Delhi; Temp drops to season's lowest of 4.4 deg C
The Palam observatory at the Indira Gandhi International Airport logged a visibility level of 200 metres at 5.30 am
Delhi's minimum temperature plunged to the season's lowest of 4.4 degrees Celsius on Wednesday morning even as a dense layer of fog lowered visibility to 200 metres, affecting the movement of road and rail traffic, officials said.
At least 19 trains to Delhi were delayed by one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half hours due to the foggy weather, a Railways spokesperson said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) shared satellite images that showed a thick layer of fog over the Indo-Gangetic plains and adjoining central and eastern parts of the country.
"Dense fog layer persists over Indo-Gangetic plains. It is likely to persist for the next 2-3 days and gradually reduce thereafter," an IMD official said.
The Palam observatory at the Indira Gandhi International Airport logged a visibility level of 200 metres at 5.30 am.
According to the weather office, 'very dense' fog is 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'.
The Safdarjung observatory, Delhi's primary weather station, recorded a minimum temperature of 4.4 degrees Celsius, three notches below normal.
Coldwave conditions are set to return to the capital on Thursday and the mercury may drop to 4 degrees, the IMD has forecast.
'Cold day' conditions had gripped Delhi on Tuesday with the maximum temperature dropping five degrees below normal at many places in the national capital, including Lodhi Road, Palam, Jafarpur and Mayur Vihar.
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 Celsius below the normal. A severe cold day is when the maximum is 6.5 degrees Celsius or more below the normal.
The IMD has predicted dense to very dense fog and cold day conditions over northwest India during the next four to five days.
Coldwave conditions are likely to continue over northwest India during the next two days and the intensity will decrease thereafter, it said.
In the plains, the Met office declares a cold wave if the minimum temperature dips to four degrees Celsius or when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 notches below normal.
A severe cold wave is when the minimum temperature dips to two degrees Celsius or the departure from the normal is more than 6.4 degrees Celsius.