Flights, Trains Delayed Due to Coldest Morning in Delhi: 3.6 degrees Celsius

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that Delhi saw the lowest minimum temperature of the season on Saturday, measuring 3.6 degrees Celsius and that heavy fog covered many areas of the city.

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The national capital saw its lowest minimum temperature in five years on Friday, at 3.9 degrees Celsius. Safdarjung reported a minimum temperature of 3.9 degrees Celsius, while Lodi Road recorded 3.6 degrees Celsius, the lowest this winter. The temperature in Delhi dropped even more. On Saturday, the maximum temperature is probably going to be of 19 degrees Celsius. When the maximum temperature falls between 4.5 and 6.4 degrees Celsius below average and the minimum temperature falls below 10°C, the IMD issues a cold day warning. 5:30 am, Safdarjung Observatory, the primary weather station in Delhi, reported 200 metres of visibility.

With the air quality index (AQI) reading 340 on a 0–500 scale, down from 348 the day before, the air quality remained at the ‘ very poor’ level. The air quality early warning system of the Institute of Tropical Meteorology indicates that a change in the next several days is unlikely. “From Saturday through Monday, the air quality is projected to stay in the ‘ very poor’ category. The forecast for the next six days: The ‘ very poor’ categorization for air quality is expected to stay in place. The primary surface wind is forecast to blow from north-west direction with a wind speed of 4-6kmph, partially cloudy sky with dense fog in the morning on Sunday,” the early warning system warned.

Red and Orange alert in many cities due to dense fog

IMD has also issued an orange alert for dense fog in Gurgaon for the next two days. The weather is likely to be dry thereafter but the minimum temperature may dip by two degrees. “Dense to very dense fog is likely at many places during the next four days as a western disturbance is likely to affect the northern Himalayas from January 16. Cold day to severe cold day conditions is likely at many places on January 12 and 13,” an IMD scientist said. Gurgaon’s AQI reading on Friday was ‘poor’ at 237.

Flights and Trains delayed

According to railway officials on Friday, as many as 39 passenger trains to Delhi are operating behind schedule due to the reduced visibility caused by the persistent thick fog in the nation’s capital. Northern Railway reports that three of the 39 trains are running six hours behind schedule. Trains like the Khajarao-Kurukshetra Express, Katihar-Amritsar Express, and Ajmer-Katra Pooja Express fall under this category. In addition, six long-distance trains—the Rajdhani Express from Bhubneshwar to New Delhi, the Puri-New Delhi Purushottam Express, the Nanded Express in Amritsar, the Kaifiyat Express in Azamgarh to Delhi Junction, the Brahmputra Mail in Kamakhya to Delhi Junction, and the Seoni-Ferozpur Express—are also running behind schedule and are predicted to arrive four hours later than planned. Likewise, there is a five-hour delay in Jammutawi-Ajmer Pooja Express and Kamakhya-Delhi Junction Brahmputra Mail, and ten additional delays, including Var.

In addition to these, at least trains are running around 1-1.30 hours late, including Rajendranagar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, Dibrugarh-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, Kanpur-New Delhi Shramshakti, Chennai-New Delhi Express, Hyderabad-New Delhi Express and Maa Belhi Devi Dham Pratapgarh-Delhi Junction. Safdarjung Airport reported 200 metres of visibility in strong fog on Friday morning, while Delhi (Palam) Airport recorded zero visibility owing to extremely dense fog conditions.

By: Gursharan Kaur

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