A cold wave caught Delhi today as icy winds blowing from the snow-capped western Himalayas dropped the minimum temperature to 4.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest in the city to date, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
For the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 degrees less than normal for two consecutive days.
“However for small areas like Delhi, a cold wave can be declared if the criteria are met even for a day,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of IMD’s regional forecasting center.
At 4.1 degrees Celsius, the minimum temperature at Safdarjung Observatory, which gives representative data for the city, was five degrees lower than normal this morning.
At Jafarpur, the mercury plunged to 3.6 degrees Celsius.
The Ayanagar and Lodhi Road meteorological stations recorded at least 4 degrees Celsius and 4.2 degrees Celsius, respectively, IMD said.
On Monday, the maximum temperature in the national capital fell to 19.4 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal and the lowest so far this month as cold winds swept the city.
Air quality has also improved to the “moderate” category due to the strong winds.
The Delhi Air Quality Index (AQI) was 190 at 10am. The 24-hour average AQI was 160 on Monday, 305 on Sunday and 356 on Saturday.
AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “bad”, 301 and 400 “very bad”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.