Home / News / India /  Delhi colder than Shimla, Nainital, Manali for 5th consecutive day; Here's why

A cold wave has gripped the national capital severely this time, breaking all records. Shockingly, the minimum temperature in Delhi has plunged lower than the prominent hill station of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), Delhi's minimum temperature stood lower than Shimla (10.3 degrees), Manali (6 degrees), Kangra (8.9 degrees), Dehradun (6.5 degrees), Mussoorie (11.3 degrees), Nainital (6 degrees), Mukteshwar (7.6 degrees), Tehri (9.2 degrees) Chamba (8.7 degrees), Dalhousie (9 degrees), and Dharamshala (9.2 degrees) for 5th consecutive day on Monday.

The minimum temperatures in the national capital rose marginally though. The Safdarjung observatory recorded a minimum of 3.8 degrees Celsius as against 1.9 degrees on Sunday.

The weather stations at Lodhi Road, Ayanagar, and Ridge recorded a minimum temperature of 3.6 degrees, 3.2 degrees, and 3.3 degrees.

The visibility levels dropped to 25 metres at the Palam observatory, near the IGI Airport, and the Safdarjung observatory, Delhi's primary weather station, IMD officials said.

The freezing cold has prompted the Delhi government to extend winter vacation in schools till 15 January.

Why Delhi is colder than hill stations:

Meteorologists attribute the long spell of intense cold to a large gap between two western disturbances, which meant frosty winds from the snow-clad mountains blew in for a longer-than-usual period.

Mahesh Palawat, vice president (meteorology and climate change), Skymet Weather, said, "The long cold wave spell in Delhi can be attributed to a large gap between two western disturbances which allowed the chilly northwesterly winds from the mountains to affect the plains for a longer-than-usual period".

When a Western disturbance -- a weather system characterised by warm moist winds from the Middle East -- approaches a region, the wind direction changes.

Usually, there is a gap of three to four days between two western disturbances. This time, the gap increased to seven days, Palawat said. A western disturbance retreated from the region by 30 December and the next one came on 7 January.

A senior IMD meteorologist said short-term relief is likely after a couple of days under the influence of back-to-back western disturbances.

On Monday, around 29 trains have been delayed by two to five hours due to the foggy weather, a railway official said.

Around 15 flights were delayed and one was diverted due to the bad weather, officials at the IGIA said.

Satellite images showed a fog layer extending from Punjab and adjoining northwest Rajasthan to Bihar through Haryana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh.

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