On Thursday, a cold wave struck Delhi as residents prepared to ring in a chilly New Year, with the weather authority forecasting similar temperatures until January 3.
The minimum temperature at the Safdarjung Observatory, which serves as the official temperature gauge for the capital, plummeted to 3.4 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal. It was 8.4 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.
On Thursday, the automatic weather stations in Ayanagar and Narela in Delhi recorded minimum temperatures of 3.8 and 3.2 degrees Celsius, respectively.
If the minimum temperature in the plains falls below 4 degrees Celsius, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) announces a cold wave. When the minimum temperature falls below 10 degrees Celsius and is 4.5 degrees below average, a cold wave is declared.
On December 20 and 21, Delhi was hit by a cold wave, with lows of 3.2 degrees Celsius and 4 degrees Celsius, the lowest temperatures of the season thus far.
Following that, two consecutive western disturbances, as well as the resulting slowdown of chilly northwesterly winds and gloomy weather, gradually drove the lowest temperature up to 9.8 degrees Celsius.
Some of the outgoing infrared radiation is trapped by clouds, which then radiates it downward, warming the ground.
Cold wave to severe cold wave conditions are expected in northwest India through January 3, according to the IMD.
When the minimum temperature falls below two degrees Celsius or the deviation from normal exceeds 6.4 degrees Celsius, it is considered a “severe” cold wave.
Under the impact of an active western disturbance, which is highly likely to deliver quite widespread rainfall and snowfall over Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh between January 4 and 7, the lowest temperature will begin to rise on January 4.
Between January 5 and 7, it will also bring “mild to moderate scattered to quite widespread” rain to Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, north Rajasthan, and west Uttar Pradesh.
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