Cold wave continued to sweep across Delhi with the minimum temperature dropping to 5 degrees Celsius, three notches below the season's average. The maximum too dropped a notch below the season’s average to settle at 20 degree Celsius, giving a partial cloud cover. "There will not be much sunlight as it will be partly cloudy through the day, keeping the temperature cold," according to a MeT official. "The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to settle around 20 and 5 degrees Celsius," the weatherman added.
Dense fog also enveloped the national capital region, resulting in low visibility and hazardous driving conditions in many areas. As predicted by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the capital city may witness light to very light rain on January 22. However, dry weather has prevailed mostly over Delhi-NCR region during the last few days.
Visuals of fog from Hisar, Haryana pic.twitter.com/roRqvaWdpI— ANI (@ANI) January 17, 2019
Foggy weather also led to the disruption of the rail traffic with 11 trains being resheduled after getting del;ayed for at least by an hour. As per the latest reports, Jayanagar-New Delhi S Sainani Express, Ghazipur-Anand Vihar Express and Poorvottar Sampark Kranti Express were delayed by 1:30 hours, 2 hours and one hour respectively.
Due to low visibility, Bhubaneswar Duronto Express was delayed by five hours while Poorva Express and Puri-New Delhi Purushottam Express were delayed by three hours each.
On Wednesday, the maximum and minimum temperatures were 19.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius, respectively. Several trains heading towards Delhi were delayed or diverted due to the thick blanket of fog. Trains running from Puri in Odisha and Gaya in Bihar were delayed by five hours.
The IMD has forecast cold wave conditions across Delhi for another two-three days. Thereafter, it will slowly start getting warmer, officials added.
Delhi: Cold wave intensifies in the national capital; Early morning visuals from AIIMS (All India Institutes of Medical Sciences) bus stand & night shelters near AIIMS & Lodhi Road. pic.twitter.com/TzllawlVEC— ANI (@ANI) January 16, 2019
Pollution in Delhi also witnessed a sudden surge with the air quality deteriorating to very poor category due to decreased wind speed. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, the overall air quality index (AQI) in the city was 379, which falls in the 'very poor' category.
An AQI between 100 and 200 comes under the 'moderate' category, 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', while that between 401 and 500 'severe'.
AQI near Pusa Road, Terminal 3 and Chandni Chowk was at 346, 357 and 342 respectively. While Mathura was docking at 346 in this morning, the AQI at Dhirpur and Pritampura area dipped to 297 and 355 respectively.
In the wake of this hazardous weather conditions, netizens have been advised to go for short walk instead of jogging. The SAFAR further asked people to stop outdoor activities in case of unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty or fatigue.
"if the room has windows, close them. If the air conditioner provides a fresh air intake option, keep that closed. Avoid burning of wood, candle or incense. Keep the room clean - don't vacuum. Do wet mopping to reduce dust", SAFAR added in its advisory list.
Delhi has been reeling under the menace of air pollution from the past couple of years. Earlier, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had described the capital as a "gas chamber" with local administration compelled to declare a public health emergency.