Dense fog expected for the rest of the week; daytime temperatures likely to dip steeply

The Capital experienced its first real fog of the winter on Monday, putting many flights off gear and enveloping the city in clouds of grey, which didn’t clear until after 10 a.m. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, this is just the beginning and the fog is just bound to get thicker and the air colder.

“This fog is only going to get heavier and, as a result, daytime temperatures are going to dip steeply. The winter is here to stay. The winds were blowing strongly for the past two days continuously, after which a light wind took its place on Sunday. All these were strong indicators that fog would soon follow and it did,” said IMD director O.P. Yadav. He added the Western Disturbances had made the fog possible, not only in Delhi but in neighbouring areas like U.P. Punjab and Haryana.

“The sun usually streams in through the heavy curtains in my bedroom waking me up at about 8-30 a.m. every day. However, today, slept until 9-45 a.m. ,” said Bindu, a housewife in Karol Bagh.

No surprise then that runway visibility in the Indira Gandhi International Airport dropped to below 50 metres early in the morning. Unconfirmed reports suggested that schedules of more than 100 flights were disrupted.

Around nine flights, including an international flight scheduled to land between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. at the Airport had to be diverted. One flight arriving and one flight departing were also cancelled due to the bad weather, according to a release.

Operations were halted at the Airport for over two hours. Schedules of flights were delayed from half-an-hour to three hours.

Nine flights had to be diverted to Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Lucknow as visibility at the runway dipped below 50 metres, the minimum required for a CAT-III B compliant plane to land using the instrument landing system.

Fog started to envelop the airport soon after midnight but it thickened around 6:30 a.m. The general visibility was almost zero while the runway visibility dipped below 50 metres, an airport official said.

The two runways, main (28/10) and third (29/11) of Delhi airport are equipped with CAT-III B ILS, which allows a compliant aircraft to land even when the runway visibility is upto 50 metres.

The maximum temperature hovered at 24.4 degrees Celsius, two degrees above normal for this time of the year and the minimum was 8.8 degrees Celsius. An average daytime temperature of 22 degrees Celsius has been forecast but this is likely to dip further. Dense fog is expected to hover until forenoon for the rest of the week.

With input from PTI

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