At 11 degrees, it is the coldest day of January in the past 5 years
Delhi shivered all through the day on Sunday as it recorded the lowest day time temperature of just 11 degrees Celsius for the season. The city woke up to yet another grey and extremely cold winter morning but things hardly improved as the day wore on. The temperature just hovered between a minimum of 5 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 11 degress during the day, forcing many to remain confined to the comfort of their homes despite it being their day off.
Later, the weather office conformed that this was also the lowest day temperature to be recorded in January in the past five years. “The minimum temperature during the day was recorded at five degrees Celsius and the maximum at 11 degrees Celsius. This is the lowest maximum observed in Delhi since the past five years,” said a Meteorological Department official. The maximum had dropped to 11.2 degrees in 2003 and to 10.0 degrees Celsius in 1991, he added.
The city also remained enveloped in fog through much of the day and the sun played truant. With icy winds continuing to sweep the Capital and adding to the chill, Delhiites took refuge inside more woollens. Caps and mufflers were out in large numbers and most people on the roads were seen with their heads covered.
While there was a marginal increase in the minimum temperature from Saturday's four degrees, the drop in maximum temperature from Saturday's 12.4 degrees to 11 degrees Celsius was what provided the chill effect. The maximum temperature was also a full 10 degrees below normal.
The Met Department has forecast similar conditions for Monday, with “mist/shallow fog in the morning” and chilly winds during day time. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 12 and six degrees Celsius respectively.
Similar conditions of mist and fog have been forecast by the Met Department for the coming days, with the situation likely to improve a little by Thursday.
Dense fog at night and early in the morning also affected flight schedules. Operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport were hit and two flights were cancelled, seven diverted and three rescheduled because of fog.
The Airport Meteorological Department director Dr. R.K. Jenamani said, “when the maximum temperatures fall, there is a greater impact. Dense fog prevailed from 11-30 p.m. on Saturday night to 2 a.m. during which the general visibility dropped to zero. The runway visual range on runways 11/29 and 10/28 varied between 75 metres and 125 metres.”
Low visibility procedures were implemented on runway 11/29 from around 8-30 p.m. on Saturday night till 8-35 a.m. on Sunday. The procedures were implemented on runway 10/28 after 10-30 p.m. on Saturday till 6-40 a.m. on Sunday. A total of 151 flights were operated under various categories of the instrument landing system, which included 88 flights under CAT-I ILS, 22 under CAT-II ILS, 33 under CAT-IIIA ILS and eight under CAT-IIIB ILS.
While most of the flight diversions affected domestic travel, the rescheduled flights included Air India flights to New York, Toronto and Chicago.