Dense fog blankets Chennai, visibility drops to below 50 metre

An unusually foggy day in Chennai, as seen early on January 22, 2021   | Photo Credit: Pichumani K.

Chennaiites woke up to dense fog that descended over the city on Friday morning with visibility falling below 50 metre in several places, particularly around Meenambakkam, according to the Meteorological Department.

The visibility improved in many areas only after 8.30 a.m. Officials of the Meteorological Department said a combination of factors led to such dense fog that blanketed most parts of the city.

B.Amudha, Scientist-E and in-charge, Aviation Meteorological Office, Meenambakkam, said the visibility dropped below 50 metre between 5.30 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. over the Chennai Airport. It improved to 2,000 metre around 9 a.m.

Clear skies and calm winds that prevailed on Thursday night led to formation of dense fog. “The outgoing radiation emitted by earth escapes faster because of clear skies. The earth’s surface also cools off and the moisture content in lower atmospheric levels due to high relative humidity became favourable for formation of dense fog,” said Ms. Amudha.

Long wave radiation would not get trapped if there were winds. The relative humidity was close to 100% around 5.30 a.m. over Meenambakkam and it was 97% around 9 a.m. on Friday. This also led to an increase in minimum temperature to 24 degree Celsius in both the weather stations at Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam.

The Meteorological Department predicts light rains in one or two places of interior Tamil Nadu on Friday and dry weather would continue over the rest of the State. During the past 24 hours ending 8.30 a.m. on Friday, Sankarapuram and Kadavanur in Kallakurichi district received light rains of 2 cm.

Chennai will experience partly cloudy sky and mist will occur in some areas during early morning hours till the weekend.

Flight schedule disrupted

The fog also threw flight schedule out of gear at Chennai airport. Several departure and arrival flights were disrupted for a few hours.

Officials of Airports Authority of India (AAI) said that from 6.45 a.m. onwards, the visibility became very poor and six flights arriving from various destinations including Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru were all diverted to Bengaluru. Many departing flights to places including Hyderabad, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata suffered delays.

After 9 a.m., the arrival and landing resumed at the airport gradually, sources said.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 3:02:55 PM |

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