A dense layer of fog reduced visibility to 200 meters, disrupting road and rail traffic.
The season’s lowest minimum temperature was recorded on Wednesday morning in Delhi, which made it colder than Dharamsala, Nainital, and Dehradun. Road and rail traffic was hampered by the limited visibility of 200 meters caused by a thick layer of fog.
According to a Railways spokeswoman, at least 19 trains to Delhi were delayed by one and a half to four and a half hours as a result of the gloomy conditions.
The Indo-Gangetic plains and surrounding central and eastern regions of the country were covered in a heavy layer of fog, according to satellite pictures released by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
“Fog/low cloud layer persists over north and central parts of India, covering large parts of the country and causing ‘cold day’ to ‘severe cold day’. (A) a cold wave (was) recorded over isolated pockets of Haryana, Delhi, and Rajasthan,” an IMD official said.
The Palam observatory at the Indira Gandhi International Airport logged a visibility level of 200 meters at 5.30 am.
According to the weather office, ‘very dense’ fog is when visibility is between 0 and 50 meters, 51 and 200 meters is ‘dense’, 201 and 500 meters is’ moderate’, and 501 and 1,000 meters is’ shallow’.
With frosty winds from the snow-clad Himalayas barrelling through the plains, the Safdarjung observatory, Delhi’s primary weather station, saw the minimum temperature plummet to 4.4 degrees Celsius from 8.5 degrees a day ago.
Delhi’s minimum temperature was lower than that of Dharamsala (5.2 degrees), Nainital (6 degrees), and Dehradun (4.5 degrees).
The Delhi Ridge weather station near Delhi University recorded a cold wave with a minimum temperature of 3.3 degrees Celsius, the lowest in the capital on Wednesday.
Coldwave conditions are predicted in the national capital during the next three days and the mercury may drop to 4 degrees, the IMD has forecast.
The cold snap is expected to strain power grids and pose challenges to homeless people.
‘Cold day’ conditions 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 normal and the maximum temperature is at least 4.5 degrees Celsius below 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.
A cold wave is declared 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.