Delhi continues to shiver in cold wave

Chilly weather is expected to abate from Thursday

A foggy morning ride in Delhi last week. EPA
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A prolonged cold wave continued in the Indian capital Delhi on Tuesday as temperatures dropped to 2.4º C.

The city is in the grip of an acute cold wave and dense fog along with large parts of north-west India, with temperatures plummeting below zero.

The Palam observatory, near Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport, recorded a visibility of 500 metres.

The foggy weather disrupted road and rail movement in some parts of the northern region. At least 15 trains were running late for up to eight hours, the Northern Railways said, although the city’s temperature was a notch above Monday's 1.4º C.

Tens of thousands of homeless people in the city had to brave the cold. Many were seen hunkered down at night shelters and outside petrol stations.

People including outpatients at Delhi's AIIMS and Safdarjung hospitals sleep on the pavements, bus stands and pedestrian subways in extreme cold. Taniya Dutta / The National

Many places in Delhi and adjoining cities are likely to face severe cold conditions until Wednesday but residents will get some respite after the cold wave is expected to abate from Thursday, the India Meteorological Department said.

Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh will also be hit by the intense cold wave. Dense to very dense fog is very likely in isolated pockets in sub-Himalayan regions of West Bengal and Sikkim until Wednesday.

“Two possible western disturbances in quick succession on Wednesday and Friday are likely to affect the region in quick succession. As a result, cold wave over north-west India is likely to abate from Thursday,” the IMD said.

Delhi witnessed its most intense cold spell in a decade this year. It logged a minimum of 1.9º C on January 8.

The all-time low of minus 0.6º C was recorded on January 16, 1935.

Delhi also recorded over 50 hours of dense fog in January so far, the highest since 2019.

Updated: January 17, 2023, 8:07 AM