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Explained: The reason for the dip in New Delhi’s winter temperature

Delhi’s temperature: A rapid decline in minimum temperature in Delhi was noted from 14.4 degrees Celsius on December 12, when the city witnessed light rainfall, to 4.1 degrees on Tuesday.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 23, 2020 12:23:27 pm
Delhi, Delhi weather, Delhi temperature, Delhi winter, Indian ExpressA foggy winter morning in New Delhi. (Express Photo: Amit Mehra)

The minimum or night time temperature in New Delhi dropped to 4.1 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, the lowest during the season this year. The dip was five degrees below the normal temperature for this time of the year, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The weather department has forecasted the mercury will fall further over the next three days, both during night and day.

What is causing the dip in Delhi’s temperature?

There has been a significant amount of snowfall over the past few days in states falling in the western Himalayan range — Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand — under the influence of a Western Disturbance.

“In winters, whenever an active Western Disturbance passes through the western Himalayan region, it leads to a dip in temperatures across northwest India,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre.

A Western Disturbance, labelled as an extra-tropical storm originating in the Mediterranean, is an area of low pressure that brings sudden showers, snow and fog in northwest India.

“Snowfall in the western Himalayan range means cold, north-westerly winds blowing over Delhi from the direction of this high altitude area, and clearing of cloud cover with the passing of Western Disturbance, and leads to a fall in temperatures,” said Srivastava. 📣 Follow Express Explained on Telegram

A rapid decline in minimum temperature in Delhi was noted from 14.4 degrees Celsius on December 12, when the city witnessed light rainfall, to 4.1 degrees on Tuesday.

The lack of cloud cover also leads to higher radiation from the Earth’s surface into the atmosphere at night time, which also cools the ground, Srivastava said.

Moreover, under the influence of an active La Niña climate pattern, temperatures across the globe have been dipping, he added.

The maximum or day time temperature has also dipped in Delhi from 29 degrees Celsius on December 10 to 19.4 degrees Celsius on Monday.

Delhi weather forecast: What to expect in the coming days

The IMD has forecast cold day and cold wave conditions in some parts of the city for the next three days.

A cold day is when the maximum temperature dips 4.5 degrees Celsius below normal temperature — which has been set based on climatological data of 30 years between 1981 and 2010.

Cold wave is when the minimum temperature dips to 10 degrees Celsius or less and the departure from normal temperature is 4.5 degrees Celsius or lower.

Until December 19, the maximum temperature is forecast to be between 18 and 19 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature is forecast to be between 4 and 5 degrees Celsius.

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