Delhi-NCR shivers as mercury dips to 5.3°C, IMD issues orange alert for North India

cold wave

New Delhi: The national capital and its adjoining areas experienced the coldest day of the year 2024 on January 8, as the minimum temperature plummeted to 5.3 degrees Celsius, four notches below the normal. The cold wave conditions were comparable to those in the hill stations of Nainital and Shimla, where the mercury hovered around 6 degrees Celsius.

The intense cold spell has gripped many states of the country, especially in North India, where dense fog and ‘cold day’ phenomena have disrupted normal life. Several trains and flights have been delayed or cancelled due to poor visibility. Road traffic has also been affected by the foggy weather.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has attributed the cold wave to a western disturbance, which is a cyclonic storm that originates in the Mediterranean Sea and brings rain and snow to the Himalayan region. The western disturbance has become active since Tuesday and is likely to cause widespread rainfall and thunderstorm activity in many states of North India in the next 24 hours.

The IMD has issued an orange alert, which indicates ‘be prepared’, for Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, warning of heavy rain and hailstorms at isolated places. The weather department has also advised people to avoid outdoor activities and take precautions against hypothermia and frostbite.

Punjab and Haryana, the neighbouring states of Delhi, have also been reeling under the severe cold wave, with the minimum temperature dropping below 10 degrees Celsius at most places. According to the IMD report, Gurdaspur in Punjab and Narnaul in Haryana recorded the lowest temperature of 6 degrees Celsius each on Tuesday. Amritsar, Bathinda, Pathankot and Patiala in Punjab registered 6.7, 7, 7 and 7 degrees Celsius respectively, while Ludhiana recorded 7.6 degrees Celsius.

cold wave 5

Chandigarh, the joint capital of both states, recorded a minimum temperature of 8.2 degrees Celsius, two degrees below the normal. Ambala, Karnal and Bhiwani in Haryana recorded 6.7, 7.2 and 7.2 degrees Celsius respectively. Dense fog enveloped many parts of both the states in the morning, reducing the visibility to less than 50 metres at some places. The day temperature in this region has also witnessed a sharp decline in the past few days, which is slightly lower than the normal temperature of this season.