Delhi recorded the coldest morning of the season on Wednesday, with the minimum temperature settling at seven degrees Celsius, a notch below the season's average. The relative humidity was recorded at 90 per cent. Tuesday was recorded as the coldest December day in 22 years in the national capital. Delhiites woke up to a shivering morning on yet another overcast day with icy winds that followed Monday’s maximum temperature of 12.9 degrees C — a 16-year cold record.
Mercury in Delhi didn’t rise beyond 12.2 degrees Celsius at the Safdarjung station, 10.3 degrees C below normal. The day conditions, meanwhile, on Tuesday were among the coldest the city has seen in December in the past 50 years or so, as heavy cloud cover enveloped most parts of north India, blocking sunlight from the entire region.
According to the met department, severe cold spell was likely to continue on Wednesday. “Due to strong, cold northwesterly winds from the Himalayas and a layer of low clouds stopping sunlight, similar conditions are likely to persist tomorrow,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.
A “cold day” in IMD’s categorization is when the maximum temperature is 4.4 degrees below normal. A “severe cold day” is when the maximum temperature is more than 6.4 degrees below normal.
Other stations in Delhi recorded even lower day-time temperatures, with Jafarpur and Mungeshpur stations recording maximum of 11.6 degrees Celsius, Pusa recorded 11.7 degrees, Najafgarh 11.1 degrees Celsius, among others, Met data showed.
Delhi is likely to see a maximum of 14 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, with the minimum dropping to 9 degrees Celsius, officials said.
“There will be partly cloudy sky and severe cold day conditions are expected at many places,” an official said.
The low temperatures however have not disrupted Delhi’s air quality, which was recorded in the ‘moderate’ category with a reading of 168 according to CPCB’s daily index.
Data according to CPCB’s central control room showed Delhi NCR’s average PM 2.5 levels recorded at 79.6 micrograms per cubic metre at 7pm on Tuesday. The average PM 10 levels, at the same time, were meanwhile recorded at 121.9 micrograms per cubic metre, data showed.
According to SAFAR, high surface winds are forecasted to continue till Wednesday night. “The AQI is likely to stay at moderate to lower end of poor category till tomorrow. A decrease in wind speed is forecasted for Thursday, therefore AQI is likely to deteriorate to higher end of poor to lower end of very poor category. On Friday, AQI may further deteriorate to very poor category,” a report on Tuesday stated.
Apart from Delhi, cold day conditions may prevail in isolated pockets of East Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, West Uttar Pradesh and northern parts of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.
"Dense fog very likely in isolated pockets over Uttar Pradesh, north Madhya Pradesh, north Chhattisgarh, Bihar, south Assam and Meghalaya and Manipur, Mizoram & Tripura in the morning hours during next 24 hours," the IMD stated in its All India Weather Warning Bulletin.
Meanwhile, night shelters in the national capital witnessed heavy rush of homeless people who turned to shelters to survive the chilly winter.
Popularly known as Rain Baseras, the night shelter homes are government-supported, where the homeless can spend winter nights.
"From the past few days, people are spending nights in our shelter. Day before yesterday, we accomodated 26 people and today there are around 36 people who are staying here," said the Manager of the Sarai Kale Khan shelter home.
"We have a total of 50 beds and have quills and blanket for the poor. We are providing all basic facility to them," he added.