- The national capital is under a cold spell since December 14
- Dense fog reduced visibility in parts of the city
- The cold spell is likely to ease next week
Gripped by bone-chilling cold, Delhi this morning recorded a minimum temperature of 2.4 degrees, the lowest for the season so far. The national capital - under a cold spell since December 14 - is expected to witness its second-coldest December since 1901, according to the weather office.
Mercury dipped to its lowest this morning with the Safdarjung Observatory - whose figures are taken as the official reading for the city - recording 2.4 degrees Celsius. Among other observatories, the one at Palam recorded 3.1 degrees Celsius, the Lodhi Road observatory recorded 1.7 degrees Celsius, Aya Nagar observatory recorded 1.9 degrees Celsius, news agency PTI reported quoting a senior India Meteorological Department official.
Dense fog reduced visibility in parts of Delhi, disrupting rail, road and air traffic. Four flights have been diverted till now at Delhi airport due to low visibility and 24 trains are running late.
Since December 14, most parts in the city have been impacted by a 13-day cold spell. On Friday, the minimum temperature settled at 4.2 degrees, three notches below normal. The maximum temperature was recorded at 12.9 degrees.
At 0600-0630 hrs IST of today 28.12.2019 visibility reported (in meters) Delhi Airport 0000 m, Gaya 0100m, Mohanbari 0050 m. Latest RGB composite Satellite imageries shows the fog over northern part of the country. pic.twitter.com/FjYrit0O8C— IMD Weather (@IMDWeather) December 28, 2019
The cold spell in Delhi this year - likely to ease next week - beats the last such spell in 1997. After 1992, the city has had cold spells only in four years - 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2014, according to news agency PTI.
Till Friday, the city recorded a mean maximum temperature of 19.4 degrees. The mean maximum temperature for December was less than 20 degrees only in 1919, 1929, 1961 and 1997, an IMD official told PTI.
Due to the persistence of cold northwesterly winds in the lower levels over northwest India, "cold day to severe cold day conditions" are very likely over many pockets of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, north Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh over the weekend, the weather office said in its daily report on Friday.
Kufri, Manali, Solan, Bhuntar, Sundernagar and Kalpa shivered below sub-zero temperatures in Himachal Pradesh on Friday and Keylong recorded the lowest temperature in the state at minus 15 degrees Celsius.
Rain and hailstorm have been predicted for several parts of north India, including Delhi, next week.
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(With inputs from PTI, ANI)