Delhi shivered on the coldest-recorded December day since 1901, as a cold wave tightened its grip over North India.
On Monday, December 30, Delhi experienced its coldest day in December, in 119 years, with the maximum temperature recorded as 9.4 degrees Celsius, the India Meteorological Department said. The temperature recorded by the Safdurjung laboratory at 2:30 p.m. was 9.4 degrees Celsius.
“Delhi (is) likely to record the coldest day today, in the last 119 years, for December month (Sic) as day temperature till 14:30 IST of today has been unusually (cold) following the coldest trend with Safdarjung at 1430 IST has 09.4 degC,” the IMD had tweeted.
Delhi likely to record most coldest day today in last 119 year for Dec Month as day temp till 1430 IST of today has been unusually following a coldest trend with Safdarjung at 1430 IST has 09.4degC pic.twitter.com/FI0mziR0RS
— IMD Weather (@IMDWeather) December 30, 2019
It is not just the national capital of India, but other parts of Northern India have also been severely hit by cold waves. Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season, Jaipur also recorded the lowest minimum temperature in more than five decades. Delhi is currently experiencing the coldest weather in 22 years, but is likely to get some relief as the cold waves are expected to change direction.
A thick fog also engulfed the Delhi-NCR region, which had lead to reduced visibility, and several flights and trains being either delayed or canceled, according to news reports.
Forty flights were canceled, 20 flights were diverted, and more than 500 were delayed due to reduced visibility. According to a Railways official, thirty trains were delayed for two to seven hours. The pollution level also made the situation worse, as the Air Quality was recorded as being “severe” at 448 at 9:38 a.m.
Six people, including two minors, were also killed on Saturday night, as their car skidded off the road and fell into a canal in Greater Noida, in Uttar Pradesh.
Gautam Budh Nagar district authorities have decided to close the schools in Noida and Greater Noida for two days due to the cold, harsh weather. According to PTI, as quoted by The Wire, all classes, up to the eighth standard, would remain closed on December 31 and January 1 in all private and government schools across Noida and Greater Noida, due to the cold weather.
According to Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the regional weather forecasting center, the day temperature was almost half of what is considered normal for this day of the year.
“Today was the coldest day recorded for the month of December,” said Srivastava. The India Meteorological Department maintained the records of temperature since 1901.