Homeless people on a cold winter morning in New Delhi, December 20, 2021. Photo: PTI
New Delhi: A cold wave swept parts of Delhi on Monday with the minimum temperature at the Safdarjung Observatory, considered the official marker for the capital, dropping to 3.2 degrees Celsius, five notches below normal and the lowest this season so far.
Two back-to-back western disturbances and the resultant slowing down of cold northwesterly winds from Tuesday night will push the minimum temperature up, said RK Jenmani, a senior scientist at the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The automatic weather station at Jaffarpur village in west Delhi recorded a low of 2.9 degrees Celsius, six notches below normal.
The Lodhi Road weather station logged a minimum temperature of 3.1 degrees Celsius against the average of seven degrees Celsius.
Most of the other places recorded the minimum temperature between three degrees Celsius and six degrees Celsius, and at least three notches below normal, according to the IMD data.
Jenamani said the minimum temperature is likely to rise to six to seven degrees Celsius under the influence of two “back-to-back” western disturbances between December 22 and December 25.
The IMD had predicted severe cold wave conditions in parts of northwest India until December 21.
A bone-chilling “severe” cold wave swept parts of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh on Sunday with Churu in Rajasthan reporting the lowest minimum temperature of minus 2.6º C in northwest India followed by Sikar (minus 2.5º C) and Amritsar (minus 0.5 degree Celsius).
In the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave if the minimum temperature dips to 4 degrees Celsius. A cold wave is also declared when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 notches less than 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.
When the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature is at least 4.5 degrees Celsius below the normal, it is said to be a ‘cold day’.