Coldest day in Delhi this season: It’s 1.4 degrees, will temperatures hit zero?


Delhi is facing one of its harshest winters in decades. At 1.4 degrees Celsius, parts of the Capital were shivering early Monday. Many places in Delhi-NCR are expected to face severe conditions until Wednesday. Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Chandigarh will also be hit by an intense cold wave.

“Cold wave to severe cold wave conditions very likely over many parts of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi till 17 January,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted.

Also read: Weather update: January 2023 can be the coldest month of century as North India experiences severe cold waves

How cold will it get in Delhi?

Monday was colder than expected. The Captial experienced the coldest morning of the season with the lowest minimum temperature of 1.4 degrees Celsius recorded at Safdarjung Observatory, according to weather expert Navdeep Sigh Dahiya. Ujwa in southwest Delhi recorded sun-zero temperatures at – 0.5 degrees Celsius.

The 1.4 degrees minimum temperature is six degrees below normal for this time of the year and the second lowest minimum temperature recorded at the Safdarjung weather observatory in January in a decade, according to a report in The Indian Express.

It marks a “severe” cold wave day for Delhi since the minimum temperature is less than 2 degree Celsius. The last time a lower minimum temperature was recorded at Safdarjung was 1.1 degree Celsius in January 2021.

The minimum temperature at Lodhi Road was 1.6 degrees on Monday. It was 2 degrees at the Ridge and 5.3 degrees at the IGI Airport, Palam, the report says.

The weather office had predicted that minimum temperatures are likely to plummet by about 2 degrees celsius over several parts of northwest and central India until Tuesday. There will be a gradual rise of temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius between January 18 and 20 under the influence of a western disturbance.

A homeless man sits on a cycle rickshaw parked along a street during a cold winter morning in New Delhi. On Monday, the temperature dropped to 1.4 degrees Celsius in the Capital, the lowest so far this season. AFP

Will temperatures dip further in Delhi?

According to Dahiya, the cold wave is expected to intensify further. Temperatures might fall by 1 to 2 degrees Celsius from current levels on 17 and 18 January in Delhi, he predicted on Twitter.

Monday saw a big drop in the temperatures in Delhi from Sunday, which recorded 4.7 degrees Celsius at the Safdarjung Observatory, Delhi’s primary weather station. The minimum temperature dropped to 2.6 degrees Celsius at Jafarpur, 3.8 degrees Celsius at Lodhi Road, 3 degrees Celsius at Ayanagar, and 3.2 degrees Celsius at Ridge.

The data available on the IMD’s website showed that the Ujwa automatic weather station (AWS) in southwest Delhi logged a minimum temperature of minus 0.1 degrees Celsius on Sunday. However, a senior IMD official said the AWS “is not working”.

The temperature might go up by Wednesday. On January 18, the temperature will record 4 degrees Celsius, failing to give respite to Delhiites from cold wave conditions, the Met office said.

Delhi reported a cold wave from January 5 to January 9, the second longest in the month in a decade, according to the IMD data. It has also recorded over 50 hours of dense fog this month so far, which is the highest since 2019.

According to weather expert Navdeep Singh Dahiya, temperatures in the plains would dip as far as – 4 degrees this week. AFP

Also read: A killer cold wave in north India: How it affects your body, causes heart attacks

What about other parts of North India?

Cold wave conditions and foggy weather has gripped Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and other parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

According to IMD, Rajasthan’s Churu recorded -2.5 degrees Celsius and Sikar recorded -2 degrees Celsius o Monday. Hisar in Haryana, meanwhile, registered 0.8 degrees Celsius.

The Indian Railways informed on Monday that as many as 13 trains are running late in the Northern Railway region due to fog.

Amid severe cold, the district administration in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur decided to shut schools until Tuesday. The district administration in Meerut ordered that schools will be closed for students up to Class 8.

The Union Territory of Chandigarh has extended the winter break for students up to Class 8.

On Sunday, the minimum temperature dipped to minus 4.7 degrees Celsius in Fatehpur and minus 2.7 degrees Celsius in Churu. Severe cold wave with ground frost occurred at many places in west Rajasthan.

Punjab and Haryana are on red alert. Minimum temperatures in Punjab are expected to be in the range of -2 to -3 degrees Celsius in the coming days. On Sunday, Punjab’s Faridkot was shivering at minus 1 degrees Celsius.

Dahiya had warned of maximum temperatures in the single digits and “frosty mornings” or "cold blast" days in North India. He has predicted that temperatures in the plains would dip as far as – 4 degrees this week.

“Also, to note this is a historic run so far in 11 days of Jan with next few days look really cold, #January 2023 can be historically coldest - maybe for 21st century so far,” he tweeted last week.

In the plains, a cold wave is declared if the minimum temperature dips to 4 degrees Celsius or when it is 10 degrees Celsius and 4.5 notches below normal. A severe cold wave is when the minimum temperature dips to 2 degrees Celsius or the departure from the normal limits is by more than 6.4 notches.

Homeless people warm themselves by a bonfire under a flyover on a cold and foggy morning in Jammu. A fresh Western disturbance is likely to affect the Western Himalayan region on the night of 18 January, bringing light to moderate rainfall or snowfall over Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. AP

Why is the cold so intense?

A fresh Western disturbance is likely to affect the Western Himalayan region on the night of 19 January. This will bring light to moderate rainfall or snowfall over Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, according to NDTV.

Western disturbance is an extra-tropical weather system that originates in the Mediterranean sea and brings rain and/or snowfall to the northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent.

IMD has predicted dense fog and low visibility over the northwestern part of the country for the next five days. PTI

How to keep safe during a cold wave?

IMD had issued warnings suggesting people wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight warm woollen clothing rather than one layer of heavy cloth. “Cover your head, neck, hands and toes adequately as a majority of heat loss occurs through these body parts,” it said.

Eat vitamin-C-rich fruits and vegetables and drink sufficient fluids preferably warm fluids to maintain adequate immunity, the IMD stated that asking people to avoid or limit outdoor activities.

With inputs from agencies

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Coldest day in Delhi this season: It’s 1.4 degrees, will temperatures hit zero?
Coldest day in Delhi this season: It’s 1.4 degrees, will temperatures hit zero?
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