Thick fog engulfed parts of Delhi-NCR region on Wednesday morning with low visibility witnessed at the Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) expressway early morning. Railway services were also hit due to low visibility and operational reasons as 21 trains were running late, 4 were rescheduled and 13 were cancelled, ANI reported.
In Delhi, the maximum temperature was recorded at 23 degrees Celsius and the minimum at 5 degrees.
Dense to very dense fog was observed at a few places over East Uttar Pradesh, at isolated places over Bihar and Tripura, while isolated places over West Uttar Pradesh also witnessed dense fog, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
Places such as Bahraich, Gorakhpur, Gazipur, Varanasi, Bhagalpur and Kailashahar had lowest visibility at 25 meters each, while in Bareilly, Lucknow, Sultanpur, Patna, Purnea and Agartala the visibility was 50 meters each, said the Met department.
The weather department has forecast that the western disturbance currently located over northeast Afghanistan is likely to approach northwest India during the next 24 hours. Associated changes in wind pattern might cause a rise in the night minimum temperatures by 23°C over the plains of northwest India on Thursday.
However, this could be shortlived and the likely setting in of northwesterly winds may lead to a further fall in minimum temperatures from January 18 night onwards. Dense fog, cold wave and ground frost are likely over parts of northwest India during next 3 days and dense fog and cold day over eastern plains during next 5 days, the MeT report said.
As far as Air Quality Index (AQI) is concerned, major pollutants like PM 2.5 was recorded at 201 and PM 10 was recorded at 220 at Delhi’s Terminal 3 airport.
Meanwhile, there was no respite from cold wave conditions in the upper reaches of the Himalayan region, including states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Notably, Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’, a 40-day harshest period of winter, when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
It ends on January 31, but the cold wave is expected to continue even after that in the Valley. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold), a PTI report said.