Weather updates: The entire northern region of the country has been witnessing extreme cold and dense fog, with the minimum temperature in Rajasthan's Churu dropping below 0 degrees Celcius on Thursday. Although the national capital, New Delhi, which had witnessed severe cold in the past three days, has been experiencing a little warmer day due to western disturbance. However, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that the region would again suffer from chilling cold from December 31.
"Cold conditions have abated in north India, including Delhi, for now under the influence of a western disturbance, characterised by warm moist winds from the Middle East," said IMD.
Further, it said that the minimum will drop to 6 degrees Celsius on Saturday and further to 4 degrees Celsius by Monday (January 2). On Thursday, the Safdarjung observatory, Delhi's primary weather station, recorded a minimum temperature of 7 degrees Celsius against 6.3 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, 5.6 degrees on Tuesday and 5 degrees on Monday. The maximum temperature is likely to settle around 23 degrees Celsius.
Several trains, flights running late due to low visibility
According to the Northern Railways, several trains destined for the national capital have been affected by log visibility. Speaking to ANI, railways officials said that several trains including, Hyderabad-New Delhi Express, Kalka- Howrah Netaji express, Gaya- New Delhi Mahabodhi Express and Puri-New Delhi Purushottam Express, were running late by 1:30 hours.
Earlier on Wednesday, as many as 100 flights were disrupted in Delhi alone as the city continues to reel under severe cold conditions with a thick layer of fog over it again on Wednesday. "Due to bad weather (fog) for three days, over 100 flights are reported delayed from and to Delhi airport, some have also been diverted to the nearest airport," a Delhi airport official told news agency ANI.
Know more about weather terminology
A cold day is when the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 10 degrees Celsius below normal and the maximum temperature is at least 4.5 degrees below normal. A severe cold day is when the maximum is 6.5 degrees or more below normal. According to the IMD, 'very dense' fog is when visibility is between 0 and 50 metres, 51 and 200 metres is 'dense', 201 and 500 'moderate', and 501 and 1,000 'shallow'.
In the plains, the Met office declares a cold wave if the minimum temperature dips to four degrees Celsius or when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 notches below normal. A severe cold wave is when the minimum temperature dips to two degrees Celsius or the departure from normal is more than 6.4 degrees Celsius.
(With inputs from agencies)