Cold, cold, cold. Record-breaking bone-chilling sub-zero temperatures assault North India as Delhi shivers at 2.4 degrees Celsius

indiatoday.intoday.in | Jan 7, 2013

by Dinesh C. Sharma

delhi_winter-350_010713092341New Delhi – It was another chilly day for Delhiites as the mercury remained below normal level today. The minimum was recorded at 2.4 degrees Celsius, five degrees below normal.

Yesterday, the mercury dropped to the season’s lowest of 1.9 degrees Celsius, forcing people to stay indoors. Icy winds blew over the capital throughout the day yesterday. Markets and parks, which usually see more footfall on Sundays, wore a deserted look.

On Wednesday, the city witnessed the coldest day in 44 years when the maximum stood at 9.8 deg C.

The current spell of cold in the Capital has clocked multiple lows with the minimum temperature touching 1.9° Celsius on Sunday morning.

The bone-chilling cold forced Delhiites to remain indoors with markets and parks – which usually see a rise in footfall on Sundays – wearing a deserted look.

Besides the chill in the Capital, many parts of north India recorded sub-zero temperatures.

Weather scientists described the current situation as abnormal. “For five days in running, Delhi has seen both cold days and cold nights. The day temperature has been consistently below 13°. This is certainly abnormal,” Dr R.K. Jenamani, a scientist with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), said.

January is usually considered the coldest month of Delhi winter, but the number of days with both the minimum and maximum temperatures remaining ‘below normal’ appears to be going up. In 1999, just two days in a row had seen both cold nights and cold days. The number of such days went up to three in 2003 and to four in 2010. In 2013, the number has already reached five.

Plunging mercury

Extremely low temperatures have been reported from all over the Indo-Gangetic plains.While Delhi shivered at the lowest of the season at 1.9°C on Sunday, Hisar in Haryana recorded -1.1° and Agra in Uttar Pradesh was at 0.5°C.

“These ever-dropping temperatures are because of weaker and lesser number of western disturbances. Usually this phenomenon helps in raising the mercury as it approaches,” Mahesh Palawat of SkyMet said.

Sunday’s was the lowest minimum temperature for January in the past five years in the city.In 2008, the minimum had plummeted to 1.9°C. The minimum on Sunday was 5° below normal and down from Saturday’s 2.9°C while the maximum was recorded at 11.8°C, 9° below normal. On Wednesday, the city witnessed the coldest day in 44 years when the maximum temperature plummeted to 9.8°C.

Dr Jenamani said the Sunday morning drop in temperature was because of early lifting of the dense fog cover around 3 am. He said the fog was likely to abate in many parts of the Indo-Gangetic plains over the next two days with the wind pattern changing. Both day and night temperature may rise slowly – by 2° or so – during the next three days, Chilled to the bone Capital shivers as it records season’s lowest temperature according to the IMD.

“A feeble western disturbance would affect the western Himalayan region from January 9,” the IMD said. It has forecast a slight increase in the temperature in the upcoming days. “The minimum temperature may go up a few notches in comparison to the current temperature.

The minimum may hover around 3°C on Monday and 4°C on Tuesday,” an IMD official said. The maximum temperature may stay close to 14°C on Tuesday and Wednesday, 15°C on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday may record a maximum temperature of 16°C, the official added.

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