Parts of Delhi-NCR reeled under a severe cold wave and witnessed dense fog on Thursday morning. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the minimum temperature dropped to 2 degrees Celsius. Also, visibility levels dropped to 100 metres at Palam and 201 metres at Safdarjung due to dense fog.
Earlier on January 1, Delhi-NCR had recorded a minimum of 1.1 degrees Celsius, lowest for the month in 15 years.
The Met department said that the Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a minimum of 2 degrees Celsius, five notches below normal, as against 3.2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday. The weather stations at Lodhi Road and Ridge recorded a minimum of 2.4 and 3.6 degrees Celsius, respectively.
In the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave if the minimum temperature dips to 4 degrees Celsius. A severe cold wave is when the minimum is 2 degrees Celsius or less.
Cold and dry northerly/northwesterly winds from the western Himalayas have been barreling through the plains, bringing the minimum temperature in north India down, Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD's regional forecasting centre said.
Delhi had been registering above-normal minimum temperatures till Monday, as a cloud cover persisted over the city under the influence of successive Western Disturbances. However, the temperature started dropping with the commencement of cold northwesterly winds after the withdrawal of the latest WD.
Meanwhile, at minus 8.4 degrees Celsius, Srinagar equalled an 8-year-old record. The famous Dal Lake and other major lakes of the valley were frozen in many parts. People have been warned not to skate on the frozen water bodies as that could endanger their lives.
The IMD predicted no change in the weather conditions till January 31.