New Delhi, January 5
A brutal cold wave swept Delhi on Thursday with the minimum temperature dropping to the season’s lowest of three degrees Celsius.
While it was bright and sunny in Shimla.
Most people kept indoors and turned to space heaters and cups of hot tea to keep themselves warm as frosty winds from the snow-clad Himalayas barrelled through the plains, including the national capital.
A blinding layer of dense fog over north India, including Delhi, caused major inconvenience to commuters. The visibility levels were 50 metres around 5:30 am.
The Safdarjung observatory, Delhi’s primary weather station, logged a minimum temperature of three degrees Celsius as against 4.4 degrees Celsius on Wednesday and 8.5 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.
The weather stations at Lodhi Road, Ayanagar and Ridge recorded minimum temperatures of 2.8 degrees Celsius, 2.2 degrees Celsius and 2.8 degrees Celsius, respectively.
The cold snap is expected to strain power grids and pose challenges to the homeless.
The India Meteorological Department uses four colour codes for weather warnings — green (no action needed), yellow (watch and stay updated), orange (be prepared) and red (take action).
A cold day is when the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 10 degrees Celsius below the normal and the maximum temperature is at least 4.5 degrees Celsius below the normal. A severe cold day is when the maximum is 6.5 degrees Celsius or more below the normal.
The IMD has predicted dense to very dense fog and cold day conditions over northwest India during the next four to five days.
Punjab witnessed a thick fog on Thursday.
Coldwave conditions are likely to continue over northwest India during the next two days and the intensity will decrease thereafter, it said.
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.