The maximum temperature on Tuesday was recorded at 18.5 degrees Celsius at Safdarjung, 5 degrees Celsius below normal and 16.7 degrees Celsius at Palam, 7 degrees below normal, the weather department said.
The cold, which began setting in from Monday evening, has gripped several parts of northern India, arriving as frosty winds from snow covered mountains. Tuesday’s minimum was a 4.3 degrees Celsius drop from the day before.
At 4.1 degrees Celsius, the minimum temperature at Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, was five notches below normal on Tuesday morning. At Jafarpur, the mercury dipped to 3.6 degrees Celsius. The Ayanagar and Lodhi Road weather stations recorded a minimum of 4 degrees Celsius and 4.2 degrees Celsius, respectively, the IMD said.
The all-time lowest minimum temperature recorded in the city is 0 degrees Celsius on December 27, 1930. Last year, the minimum temperature had dropped below the five-degree mark in the last week of December. Delhi had recorded a minimum of 2.4 degrees Celsius on December 28.
According to the weather department, the cold wave in Delhi will continue for the next 2 to 3 days. As per the IMD, minimum temperature will remain between 4-5 degree Celsius till Friday.
According to IMD, a ‘cold day’ or ‘severe cold day’ is considered based on two parameters – minimum temperature of under 10 degree Celsius and if maximum temperature is 4.5 degree Celsius or 6.4 degree Celsius below normal respectively.
Delhi logged a record cold spell of 18 days last year when maximum temperatures were significantly below normal continuously. There was a cold spell for 17 days in 1997 and eight days in 2014. This time too there can be a cold spell for four days until December 19, Kuldeep Shrivastava, head, regional weather forecasting centre said.
Air quality ‘poor’ category
Delhi’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) was 230. It was 160 on Monday, 305 on Sunday and 356 on Saturday.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.