Cold wave sweeps Delhi, minimum temp dips to 3.4 deg C

Cold wave sweeps Delhi, minimum temp dips to 3.4 degrees Celsius

The mercury dipped to 3.3 degrees Celsius at Lodhi Road, as icy winds from snow-laden Western Himalayas barrelled through the city

A rickshaw driver wrapping himself with a blanket transports his passenger along a street during a cold winter morning in the old quarters of New Delhi. Credit: AFP.

A cold wave swept Delhi on Sunday as it recorded the coldest morning of the season so far at 3.4 degrees Celsius, the India Meteorological Department said. 

On Saturday, the minimum temperature at the Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, had settled at 3.9 degrees Celsius.

"The observatory recorded a minimum of 3.4 degrees Celsius, five notches below normal, on Sunday morning. The maximum temperature settled at 22.4 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the year," an IMD official said.

The mercury dipped to 3.3 degrees Celsius at Lodhi Road as icy winds from snow-laden Western Himalayas barrelled through the city, the Meteorological Department said.

On Friday, the minimum temperature had plunged to 2.7 degrees Celsius at Jafarpur.  

The city had recorded a "severe" cold day on Thursday as the maximum temperature dropped to 15.2 degrees Celsius, seven notches below normal and the lowest this season so far. However, it rose to 19.8 degrees Celsius on Friday and 21.8 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

A “cold day” is when the minimum temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum is at least 4.4 degrees Celsius below normal. A "severe" cold day is when the maximum temperature is at least 6.5 notches below normal. 

For the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 notches less than normal for two consecutive days.

However, for small areas such as Delhi, a cold wave can be declared if the criteria is fulfilled even for a day, officials said.

The minimum temperature is expected to hover around 5 degrees Celsius in the next five to six days, it said. 

A fresh western disturbance is likely to affect Delhi around December 22.