The national capital shivered on Tuesday under harsh winter conditions as the minimum temperature dropped to 6.2 degrees Celsius, a notch below normal. Delhi had experienced cold day conditions on Monday with the maximum temperature settling at 14.8 degrees Celsius, seven notches below the season’s average, and minimum at eight degrees Celsius. A shallow fog enveloped the city on Tuesday and people largely stayed indoors or many in streets huddled around bonfires to stay warm.
According to the India Meteorological Department, the minimum temperature recorded at the Safdarjung Observatory, whose reading is considered the official marker for the city, stood at 6.2 degrees Celsius, a notch below normal. The minimum temperature at Narela was recorded at 5.6 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal.
On Monday, a dense cover of fog had engulfed the national capital in the morning causing difficulty for early morning commuters. On Tuesday, commuters rode through shallow fog even as the relative humidity stood at 95 per cent in the morning.
The maximum temperature on Tuesday is likely to hover around 16 degrees Celsius, with cold day condition forecast. The IMD has forecast partly cloudy sky with no likelihood of rainfall in Delhi on January 26 when the country will hold the grand Republic Day celebrations on Rajpath here. However, the weather office has predicted shallow fog in the morning in the city on that day.
The minimum temperatures in northwest and central India are likely to drop by three to five degrees Celsius over the next five days, leading to cold day conditions in Delhi and a cold wave in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra, the IMD had forecast on Monday.
Dense to very dense fog is predicted in parts of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Tripura over the next two to three days, it said. According to the IMD, a “cold day” is when the minimum temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum is at least 4.5 degrees Celsius below normal. A “severe” cold day is when the maximum temperature is at least 6.5 notches below normal.
The air quality index in Delhi on Tuesday morning stood in the poor category (249). An AQI between zero and 50 is considered good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor, and 401 and 500 severe.