Delhi and NCR woke up to the coldest winter morning this season, shivering at just 2.6 degree Celsius early on Monday. To make things worse, a thick blanket of fog covered the entire region throwing rail, road and air traffic out of gear in the national capital. Monday’s minimum temperature of 2.6 degree Celsius at Delhi’s Safdarjung observatory was four degree lower than the average. It was much colder at other two places in Delhi. At Lodhi Road it was 2.2 degrees Celsius, Ayanagar shivered at 2.5 degrees Celsius. Delhi Palam area was slightly better at 2.9 degrees Celsius.
While Delhiites are braving this cold day condition, the forecast by India Meteorological Department for this week is not very encouraging to say the least. Similar weather conditions will continue on New Year’s Eve on Tuesday but weather is expected to take turn on Wednesday, the New Year’s Day. IMD forecasts that on January 1, Delhi, south Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, northeast Rajasthan, East Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha and Chhattisgarh are likely to experience thunderstorm accompanied with hail and lightning at isolated places. These weather conditions of thunderstorm with hail and lightning are likely to persist on January 2 as well over isolated places in south Haryana and Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, northeast Rajasthan, East Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal & Sikkim, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh.
Not just cold conditions, the air quality index in Delhi has also plummeted to ‘severe’ level. On Monday morning, Delhi’s AQI was noted at 448 while it was 439 in Ghaziabad, 465 in Faridabad, 471 in Noida and 448 in Greater Noida (448). It was relatively better in neighboring Gurgaon at 344.
Gautam Budh Nagar district authorities have decided to close the schools in Noida and Greater Noida amid severe cold for two days. Talking to PTI, officials said that all classes up to standard eight will remain suspended on December 31 and January 1 in all private and government schools across Noida and Greater Noida due to cold weather.