Biting cold has gripped the Delhi-NCR region this winter and if the mercury dips further the national capital is likely to witness the second coldest December of this century, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Thursday. In Delhi, till Thursday the mean maximum temperature (MMT) is 19.85 degrees.
If the mean maximum temperature dips to 19.15 degrees by December 31 then it will be the second coldest December since 1901. Prior to this, the mean maximum temperature was recorded at 17.3 degrees in 1997. The mean maximum temperature recorded for December month from 1901 to 2018 has dipped only four years, 1919, 1929, 1961 and 1997, to below 20 degrees. In 1919 and 1929 the mean maximum temperature was recorded at 19.8 degrees, and in 1961 it was 20 degrees.
For Delhi-NCR, the lowest maximum temperature was recorded at 12.2 degrees on December 18 in Safdarjung and 11.4 on December in Palam. Severe cold day conditions prevailed over Delhi-NCR since December 14. From December 29, due to change in wind direction from northwesterly to an easterly reduction in the cold day is expected.
A significant increase in wind speed is expected over Delhi-NCR from the evening of December 31 under the influence of approaching western disturbance and easterly winds in the lower level. Light rain expected over Delhi-NCR during the night of December 31, 2019, to January 2020 and a hailstorm is also expected on January 1-2, 2020.
In the wake of intense coldwave, an orange alert has been issued in Delhi-NCR, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, east and west Uttar Pradesh, north Rajasthan and north Madhya Pradesh and a yellow alert in Bihar has been issued. All these places are prone to severe cold and dense fog may occur from December 27-29. The visibility may get reduced to 50 meters or less.