- 2.8 degree Celsius temperature recorded at Lodhi Road observatory today
- A "red" warning from weather office means "extreme weather conditions"
- The air quality in Delhi also fell to the "severe" category
A severe cold wave in the national capital has prompted a "red" warning from the weather office after the temperature this morning was recorded at 2.8 degree Celsius at the Lodhi Road observatory. The Safdarjung observatory recorded a low of 2.4 degree Celsius on Saturday - lowest in decades. A "red" warning from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) means "extreme weather conditions".
Flight and train services have been affected as Delhi temperature plummeted. "My train is four hours late. It was supposed to arrive at 4:25 pm but it will come at 8:30 pm. Our checkout time from the hotel was 12 pm. We have to wait for so long," Adrija Mandal, 19, a passenger going to West Bengal, told NDTV.
"There was heavy fog on the road that connects Delhi and Noida. We had to drive carefully," said Shivani Shukla, who works with a private firm.
The IMD this morning said the temperature has risen by 2-3 degree Celsius at many places in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi. It has, however, dipped by 1-2 degree Celsius at a few places in western Rajasthan and western Madhya Pradesh.
In the north-east, parts of Nagaland saw unprecedented snowfall this week. The state has been experiencing unusual cold conditions over the past three days.
The air quality in Delhi also fell to the "severe" category with the air quality index dangerously high at 465. Officials said low temperature along with high humidity and low wind speed led pollutants to accumulate.
The average maximum temperature this month is likely to be 19.15 degree Celsius. If it happens, then it will be the coldest December since 1997 when it was 17.3 degree Celsius, and the second-coldest December since 1901.
Only on four occasions between 1901 and 2018, the average maximum temperature for December has been either equal to or less than 20 degree Celsius in 1919, 1929, 1961 and 1997.
A respite from the cold and air pollution may come between December 31 and January 2 when light rain is expected. Hailstorm is also expected on January 1 and 2.