Delhi to ring in New Year in freezing weather; winter chill to intensify, says IMD

new Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that cold wave and harsh weather conditions are expected in parts of Delhi on New Year’s Eve and the winter chill will further intensify in early January. Cold conditions have subsided over North India, including Delhi, which is now under the influence of a Western Disturbance, characterized by warm moist winds from the Middle East. However, from December 31, the minimums will start falling again, meteorologists said.

As per the IMD forecast, the minimum will drop to 6°C on Saturday and further fall to 4°C by Monday (January 2). The Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi’s main weather station, recorded a minimum temperature of seven degrees Celsius on Thursday, while it was 6.3 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, 5.6 degrees on Tuesday and 5 degrees on Monday.

The maximum temperature is likely to be around 23 degree Celsius. A railway spokesperson said 14 Delhi-bound trains were running late due to dense fog in other areas. Weather experts said northwesterly winds and less sunshine due to foggy weather triggered cold wave and below-normal temperatures in northwest India.

A western disturbance brought snow again in the mountains on 25–26 December and after its retreat, cold north-westerly winds blew over the plains. A similar event involving a fresh WD would cause intense freezing in early January, he added.

A cold day is when the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 10 degrees Celsius above normal and the maximum temperature is at least 4.5 degrees below normal. An extremely cold day is one when the maximum temperature is 6.5 degrees or more above normal. According to the IMD, ‘very dense’ fog occurs when the visibility is between 0 and 50 metres, 51 and 200 meters ‘dense’, 201 and 500 ‘moderate’ and 501 and 1,000 ‘shallow’.

In the plains, the Meteorological Department declares a cold wave if the minimum temperature falls to four degrees Celsius or when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 degrees below normal. A severe cold wave occurs when the minimum temperature drops by two degrees Celsius or the departure from normal exceeds 6.4 degrees Celsius.