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A cold wave swept parts of Delhi on Sunday with the minimum temperature dropping to 3 degrees Celsius in the Ridge area, the India Meteorological Department said. The minimum temperature is expected to fall further today on Monday. A thick blanket of dense fog engulfed the national capital today morning and the minimum temperature likely to drop to 4 degrees Celsius, according to the weather forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

"Today, cold wave to severe cold wave conditions prevailed at isolated pockets over Rajasthan and cold wave conditions prevailed at isolated pockets over Haryana and Delhi," according to a stament issued by the IMD.

The IMD declares a coldwave in a region, when the minimum temperature is 4.5 degrees or more below the normal mark, or when it drops to 4 degrees Celsius or lower.

According to the IMD, a few places in the capital also reported a cold day on Sunday -- when the minimum temperature is less than or equal to 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum temperature is at least 4.5 degrees Celsius below normal.

Dense fog and cold wave conditions are predicted at most places in the city on Monday.

The Safdarjung observatory, Delhi's primary weather station, logged a minimum temperature of 5.3 degrees Celsius -- three notches below normal.

The maximum temperature settled at 16.2 degrees Celsius, five notches below normal and the lowest so far this season.

The mercury dropped to 3 degrees Celsius in the Ridge area, 4.9 degrees Celsius below normal, making it the coldest place in the capital.

The Aya Nagar weather station recorded a minimum temperature of 3.5 degrees Celsius -- 4.5 notches below normal.

Dense to very dense fog prevailed in some parts of the National Capital Region, Haryana, Punjab, west Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan.

Foggy conditions will persist in these areas over the next few days, the IMD said.

According to the IMD, "very dense" fog is when visibility is between 0 and 50 metres, 51 and 200 metres is "dense", 201 and 500 "moderate", and 501 and 1,000 "shallow".

In the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave if the minimum temperature dips to 4 degrees Celsius. A cold wave is also declared when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 notches below normal.

A "severe" cold wave is when the minimum temperature dips to two degrees Celsius or the departure from normal is more than 6.4 degrees Celsius.

*With inputs from agencies

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