The minimum temperature in Delhi rose to 5.3 degrees Celsius on Monday, still three notches below normal, the India Meteorological Department said. A cold wave had swept Delhi on Sunday morning, with the minimum temperature dipping to 3.1 degrees Celsius. Cold-wave conditions had prevailed last Tuesday, Thursday and Friday also due to the cold and dry northwesterly winds barrelling through the plains, the IMD said.
In the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave if the minimum temperature dips to four degrees Celsius. A severe cold wave is when the minimum is 2 degrees Celsius or less.
The minimum temperature is predicted to increase to 10 degrees Celsius over the next three days under the influence of a fresh western disturbance, the weather department said.
On Sunday, the IMD said Delhi recorded 7 'cold wave' days in January, the maximum in the month since 2008.
"The number of 'cold wave' days in January this year was the highest since 2008 when 12 such days were recorded," Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD's regional forecasting centre, said.
Only one cold wave day each was recorded in 2019 and 2020. The city had recorded six "cold wave" days in January 2013.
Srivastava said only one western disturbance affected the plains of northwest India in January, leading to more cloudless nights and therefore, more 'cold wave' days.
Clouds trap some of the outgoing infrared radiation, warming the ground. The minimum temperature falls in the absence of a cloud cover.
On New Year's Day, the city had recorded a minimum of 1.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest for the month in 15 years.
(With PTI inputs)