After a relatively mild winter so far, temperature dropped to 4 degrees Celsius in Delhi, and to five degrees in Gurgaon, in the early hours of Wednesday, making it the coldest day of the season.
Temperatures are not expected to rise over 16 degrees Celsius during the course of the day according to the Regional Weather Forecasting Centre (RWFC).
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is expecting the temperature to drop further to 3 degrees Celsius by Friday in Delhi. They also do not expect the temperature to rise above 18 degrees Celsius in the coming days.
In Gurgaon, similarly, the minimum temperature is likely to fall by 1 to 2 degree Celsius during the next 24 hours, said the Indian Meteorological Department. Meanwhile, the maximum temperatures will hover around 17 degree Celsius.
Even with temperatures dropping to the lowest levels of the season, Delhi experienced a relatively fog free day on Wednesday. Visibility never dropped below 500m and even peaked to 1200 m by 8:30 am in parts of the city.
Unlike Delhi, Gurgaon is bracing itself for a bout of dense fog over the next few days. Officials said that dense fog will prevail till January-end. Commuters are advised to use fog lights on the highways and drive cautiously to avoid accidents. Traffic situation is expected to be delayed on Thursday because of less visibility on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and on internal roads as well.
The clearing of fog in Delhi and the drop in temperatures in NCR have both been attributed to the westerly and north westerly winds that follow the passage of western disturbances.
“Westerly and north westerly winds are colder because they blow over places like Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh before reaching Delhi. As there have been reports of snowfall in these areas, wind gets colder. This helps bring down the temperature in the national capital,” said an RWFC official.
These winds are also stronger than the easterly winds and help clear up the fog. Windspeed was recorded at 15-20 kmph on Tuesday, and was averaging at 10 kmph on Wednesday morning.
“Moisture gets dried up when it is windy. The wind also does not allow water droplets to condense in the air; it blows it away,” explained a weather expert from the Airport, who claimed that the IGI airport experienced an unseasonally fog free day on Tuesday, and are hopeful that this bout of good weather will continue for another two to three days.
Meanwhile, doctors advised residents to avoid stepping out during early morning and late evening hours for walk during winter.
Dr Rajesh Kumar, consultant, internal medicine, Paras Hospital, Gurgaon, said, “People who have a history of respiratory problems should protect themselves from the changing temperature. Cold weather might also contribute to the risk of breathing problems.”