Delhi reels under cold wave as minimum temperature dips to 3.6 degrees Celsius
The city's air quality was recorded in the 'poor' category on Tuesday morning with the air quality index (AQI) at 237
New Delhi: Delhi reeled under a cold wave on Tuesday as icy winds sweeping through the city brought the minimum temperature down to 3.6 degrees Celsius, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a low of 3.6 degrees Celsius as against 5.6 degrees Celsius on Monday.
The weather stations at Ayanagar and Lodhi Road recorded a low of 2.6 degrees Celsius and 2.7 degrees Celsius respectively, it added.
In the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave if the minimum temperature dips to 4 degrees Celsius. A severe cold wave is when the minimum is 2 degrees Celsius or less.
The IDM said the mercury may drop further by New Year's Eve.
Cold wave conditions are predicted in parts of the city over the next three days, it said.
Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the regional forecasting centre of the IMD, said a western disturbance led to "scattered to fairly widespread" snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Cold and dry northerly/northwesterly winds from the western Himalayas have been barrelling through the plains, bringing the minimum temperature in north India down, he said.
On 20 December, the Safdarjung Observatory had recorded a minimum of 3.4 degrees Celsius, the lowest this season so far.
Delhi's air quality was recorded in the "poor" category on Tuesday morning. The city's air quality index (AQI) was 237 at 9 am.
The 24-hour average was 253 on Monday, 396 on Sunday, 337 on Saturday, 357 on Friday, 423 on Thursday and 433 on Wednesday.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".
Officials at IMD said favourable wind speed, up to 15 kmph, aided in dispersion of pollutants.
As per the weather agency, the country also reported 1,750 deaths due to extreme weather events such as floods, cyclonic storms, heavy rain, landslides, lightning, among others, during the year
The weather department has predicted a cloudy sky for Delhi till 9 January.
Cold Day to Severe Cold Day Conditions in some isolated pockets likely over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh during the next 2 days and over East Uttar Pradesh during the next three days, IMD stated