On Monday, the capital of India went through its 8th consecutive day of severe “cold day” conditions where the maximum temperature at Safdarjung was recorded at 14°C. Delhi is on track to experience its severest and longest “cold day” spell for December since 1997 as per records.
In 2014, Delhi witnessed similar cold spell in the month of December when 8 straight “cold days” were recorded, however, this year the conditions will only get worse as the spell of “cold days” is not only set to last longer but also the India Meteorological Department (IMT) forecasted a chillier spell in the coming week.
Different places in Delhi recorded different temperature and Minhesgpur only recorded 9.7°C as highest temperature with Palam recording 13°C, Jafarpur recording 10°C, and Najafgarh recording 11°C
A “cold day” is declared when a particular day’s maximum temperature is below the normal by more than 4.4°C, and a “severe cold day” is declared when the maximum temperature is below by more than 6.4°C than the normal temperature. Monday was the 5th “severe cold day” that Delhi experienced during the spell that is ongoing, comparatively, in 2014, Delhi only have 2 “severely cold days”. The thing to be noted here is that the peak winter period has not hit the city yet!
Delhi can experience dense fogs in the morning until 28th of December.
The “severe cold days” have hit the Delhi population before the peak winter period that is said to be from 25th December to the 15th of January. Delhi is expected to be equal to Kashmir’s “chilai kalan” term used by Kashmiris to indicate the severest part of winters.
With the “cold day” spell continuing for the 9th day on Tuedsay, Delhiites will experience the longest running spell of “cold” and “severe cold” days since December 1997 during which people in Delhi witnessed severely cold temperatures for 13 days.
According to Kuldeep Srivastava, Head IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre “the severe cold day conditions are likely to continue for the next few days. We expect the maximum temperature on Tuesday to be around 15°C, which is likely to fall to around 13°C by Thursday. Night temperatures are likely to gradually dip as well and touch 4°C by December 28”.
Srivastava asserted that the reason why Delhi and nearby states are experiencing such severe weather is because of the heavy snowfall witnessed in the hills between 12th and 13th of December. He said “Delhi had a moderate rain spell at that time. Since then, icy north-northwesterly winds have been blowing. Due to high moisture in the region — there was light rain again in the region on December 21-22 — fog has been forming every morning. During the day, the fog layer has been rising and acting as a cloud cover, preventing sunlight from reaching the ground. These two factors are making days exceptionally cold”.
Another official said “From December 14, cold day or severe cold days have prevailed in at least one or more stations over Delhi. For Safdarjung, it is from December 16”.
Last Tuesday was the coldest December day in Delhi in 22 years where the maximum temperature was clocked in at 12.2 degree Celsius, 10 degrees below the normal temperature at the Safdarjung area when it hit 11.3°C in 1997.
According to IMD, Delhi will remain covered under dense fog until the 28th of December during the early morning hours, “only on 26, moderate fog is expected. The rest of the days there will be dense fog”. According to the data shared by the Central Pollution Control Board of India, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi remained in the “very poor” category on Monday at 327 points, and on Sunday it was similar with 322 points.