North India is unusually foggy this winter—Here’s why

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Updated: Feb 21, 2021 6:25 PM

The national capital was shrouded in a thick layer of fog during the period between February 2 and February 6 which was caused due to a western disturbance which resulted in light showers in the city.

The suspended water molecules in the atmosphere coupled with a sudden drop in temperature were the perfect mix conducive for fog-like conditions.The suspended water molecules in the atmosphere coupled with a sudden drop in temperature were the perfect mix conducive for fog-like conditions.

Dense fog and reduced visibility have become a feature of the national capital and northern states like Punjab and Haryana for the last few days leading to multiple mishaps and road accidents. Fog, which is one of the condensation-related phenomena, is usually seen at the time of the evening, night, or early morning with a tendency to appear in a magnified form with a sudden drop in the temperature. The usual maladies related to intense fog are visibility related including suspension of flights, delay in the schedule of trains, and road accidents. Let us see what has sustained the long spell of fog in Delhi and other North Indian cities this time.

Factors behind this year’s fog

According to a report by The Indian Express, the national capital was shrouded in a thick layer of fog during the period between February 2 and February 6 which was caused due to a western disturbance which resulted in light showers in the city. The suspended water molecules in the atmosphere coupled with a sudden drop in temperature were the perfect mix conducive for fog-like conditions. The low-pressure condition continued to prevail in other hilly regions of North India in the period between February 8 and February 9 resulting in precipitation like situation but the Northern plains area remained largely unaffected.

RK Jenamani, senior scientist at National Centre for Weather Forecasting told the Indian Express that in the absence of active western disturbance in the Northern plains region an anticyclone developed over the region. Jenamani further said that the anticyclonic conditions came in interaction with the moisture-laden easterly waves leading to the fog-like conditions. Calm winds which persisted in the region at the same time came as an opportunity to stay put in the region for long.

The meteorologists also said that in contrast to every year when pollutants and dust particles play a big role in the development of fog-like conditions in the region, the presence of anticyclonic conditions which was fed moisture by the Easterly waves was the main reason behind this year’s prolonged fog.

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