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March 28, 2023 7:59 am

North India in grip of severe cold wave; blinding layer of dense fog cripples road and rail movement

New Delhi, January 8

A severe cold wave, accompanied by a blinding layer of dense fog, enveloped North India, including Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, and the adjoining Central and Eastern parts of the country on Sunday, affecting road, rail and air traffic movement.

The Met office had issued an “orange” alert for certain parts of north India, including Delhi, for Sunday, warning that dense fog, cold day and cold wave conditions will persist.

“Cold wave to severe cold wave conditions are very likely to continue over some areas in Rajasthan and Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi on January 8,” it said.

However, slight relief is likely after a couple of days under the influence of back-to-back western disturbances, the IMD said.

A severe cold wave walloped Delhi on Sunday, with the minimum temperature at the Safdarjung Observatory, the city’s primary weather station, plunging to a bone-chilling 1.9 degrees Celsius, the lowest in January in two years.

Very dense fog lowered visibility to 50 metres at the Palam observatory, near the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport, at 5:30 am.

The Delhi International Airport Limited tweeted that flights, which are not CAT III compliant, may get affected.

Passengers have been advised to contact the airline concerned for updated flight information.

A Northern Railway spokesperson said 42 trains were delayed by one hour to five hours due to the foggy conditions.

According to the weather office, very dense fog is when visibility is between 0 and 50 metres, between 51 and 200 metres is dense, between 201 and 500 metres moderate, and between 501 and 1,000 metres shallow.

With frosty winds from the snow-clad mountains pounding northwest India, including Delhi, the weather stations at Lodhi Road, Ayanagar, Ridge and Jafarpur logged a minimum temperature of 2.8 degrees Celsius, 2.6 degrees Celsius, 2.2 degrees Celsius and 2.8 degrees Celsius, respectively.

On Saturday, the Safdarjung observatory had logged a minimum temperature of 2.2 degrees Celsius—lower than that of most places in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and some hill stations in Jammu and Kashmir.

A severe cold wave had brought the minimum temperature down to a numbing 1.5 degrees Celsius at the Ridge weather station in central Delhi.

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