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Monday, 22 December 2014

Delhi colder than London, Shimla........

NEW DELHI: On a fogged out Monday, when the minimum temperature plunged to a season's low of 4.2 degrees Celsius, Delhi was colder than hill stations such as Mussoorie and Shimla. It was chillier than even the British capital, London, where the day's low was predicted to be 10 degrees C.

While the maximum temperature in the capital remained at an uncomfortably low 15.8 degrees C, Mussoorie was decidedly milder at a temperature range of 9 to 16 degrees C. Shimla too had a higher minimum (6.2) than Delhi, though the maximum temperature there was a notch lower at 14 degrees C.

The cold spell in the capital, now into its ninth day, appears to be only getting worse. Monday opened with the season's severest spell of fog that lasted till around noon, making conditions harsh for schoolchildren and office-goers. For the fourth consecutive day, the Met department declared 'cold day' conditions in Delhi — meaning the day's highest temperature was more than 5 degrees below normal.

The next few days aren't likely to be any better. The weather office, which had predicted an improvement in the fog situation from Monday, said it had based its forecast on an approaching western disturbance which turned out milder than expected.



Cold comfort: Children huddle under rough cover on their way to school in Delhi. 

"The impact of the WD is over. Fog is likely to continue at least till December 28-29," said R K Jenamani, director in-charge, IGI Met.

At least 242 flights were affected at IGI Airport, where visibility dropped to zero, with many passengers having to return home disappointed. Around 100 trains were hit, some running nearly 24 hours late and around 40 being rescheduled.


The current spell of fog is widespread and 12 airports across the northern plains recorded zero visibility on Monday morning. This included cities like Delhi, Jammu, Allahabad, Lucknow etc. In Delhi, while one runway was shut, the other allowed only CAT-III operations between 5.30am and 9.30am.

Palam recorded a maximum of 16.4 degrees C and a minimum of 5.9 degrees Celsius. Other NCR areas recorded harsher weather, with the maximum at Indirapuram being 12.4 degrees and at Faridabad 12.5 degrees. In Delhi, the minimum went down even further in the outer areas with Najafgarh posting the lowest minimum of 2.4 degrees C, followed by Jafrabad with 2.9 degrees and Narela 3.2.


"The WD was not followed by strong westerly winds which is why there was no distinction between its arrival and departure. Its impact is now over. Fog will develop on Monday night and continue till Tuesday morning. The spell will continue till December 29 with a slight variation in intensity and duration. There might be some respite on the night of December 25 and the following morning due to development of some wind," said Jenamani.