NEW DELHI: Delhi woke up to bone-chilling cold on Monday and a dense layer of fog enveloped the city and its adjoining areas, making the visibility zero at several places.
The minimum temperature in Safdarjung docked at 2.6 degrees Celsius at 8:45 am, while in Palam it was 2.9 degrees Celsius. The temperature in Lodhi Road was recorded at 2.2 degrees Celsius and in Aya Nagar at 2.5 degrees Celsius.
530 flights delayed due to dense fog at Delhi airport
Heavy fog disrupted flight operations at the Delhi airport on Monday with 20 flights diverted, four cancelled, and around 530 delayed till 12.52 pm, an official said.
Flights are operating at the airport under CAT III B conditions, which means the runway visual range (RVR) is between 50 metres and 175 metres.
Giving an update on flight operations at 12.52 pm, the official said 16 flights have been diverted and four cancelled as of now.
"Around 530 flights - which includes 320 departures as well as 210 arrivals approximately - have been delayed on Monday till 12.52 pm," the official added.
In a statement, IndiGo airline said, "Owing to dense fog in north India our flights have been impacted across India. We will continue to review the situation and provide real-time updates on our social platforms." The airline also requested passengers to check flight status before leaving home and reach out to its customer care.
Vistara airline said on Twitter that its Delhi-Mumbai flight UK933 as well as Mumbai-Delhi flight UK996 stands cancelled due to poor visibility in Delhi.
Vistara along with GoAir, SpiceJet, AirAsia India stated on Twitter that due to dense fog and poor visibility in Delhi, their flight operations might be impacted, and advised passengers to check flight status before leaving for the airport.
"Low visibility procedures are still in progress. All CAT III B compliant pilots are able to operate. Departures may be impacted if Runway Visibility Range falls below 125m. Please get in touch with the airline concerned for updated flight information. Any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted," said Delhi Airport in a statement.
Dense fog affected traffic movement this morning and commuters were seen driving with emergency lights due to low visibility on the roads.
Noida schools shut
Students in the Vasant Vihar area struggled to reach their schools due to dense fog and poor visibility.
"We are unable to see any car or bus on the roads due to dense fog but still we have to go to school. We missed our bus today and got late for school," said a student.
All classes up to standard eight will remain suspended on December 31 and January 1 in all private and government schools across Noida and Greater Noida due to cold weather, officials said on Monday.
On a foggy Sunday night, six people, including two minors, were killed and five others injured when their car skidded off-road and fell into a canal in Greater Noida, the police said.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) at several places in the capital city - 462 in Anand Vihar and 494 in Okhla Phase-2 - was in the 'severe' category.
Jammu and Kashmir in a freeze with sub-zero temperature
Mercury continued its record-breaking spree in Srinagar as the city experienced the coldest night of the season so far at minus 6.5 degrees Celsius on Monday, even as the MET Office has forecast spells of wet weather over the first week of the new year.
He said it was the coldest night of the season so far in the city, leading to freezing of the fringes of the Dal Lake and other water bodies as well as water supply lines at several places.
Srinagar city recorded the low of minus 6.5 degrees Celsius last night - down from minus 6.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, an official of the Meteorological Department here said.
Pahalgam, in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, was the coldest recorded place in the valley, an official added.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' - the 40-day harshest period of winter when there are most chances of frequent and maximum snowfall and the temperature drops considerably.
'Chillai-Kalan' began on December 21 and ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir.
Sub-zero temperatures freeze Punjab-Haryana
Haryana and Punjab remained under the grip of severe cold wave with temperatures hovering well below normal limits on Monday.
Fog also continued to engulf most places in Haryana and Punjab, reducing visibility levels in the morning.
Faridkot in Punjab was the coldest place in the state, recording a minimum temperature of 0.7 degrees Celsius, six notches below normal limits.
Among other places in Punjab, freezing cold swept Amritsar, which recorded a low of 1.2 deg C, Ludhiana, Patiala and Gurdaspur recorded near similar below normal minimums at 4.6, 4.5 and 4.2 degrees Celsius.
Rest of the North
"Cold day to severe cold day conditions very likely in many pockets over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and cold day in isolated pockets over Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and West Madhya Pradesh," said IMD in its weather bulletin.
"Cold wave conditions very likely in isolated pockets over Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and East Rajasthan," IMD added.
The weather agency has also predicted dense to very dense fog in some pockets very likely over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, in isolated pockets over north Rajasthan, Bihar and Assam and Meghalaya and dense fog in isolated pockets over Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, north Madhya Pradesh and Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.
"Visibility recorded at 0530 hours: Jammu, Ambala, Churu, Agra, Gwalior, Delhi (Palam),Varanasi-0-25 each; Amritsar, Ganganagar, Patiala, Chandigarh, Bareilly, Jhansi, Purnea, Gaya, Bhagalpur, Satna-50 each; Bikaner, Delhi (Safdarjung), Sultanpur, Malda, Kailashahar-200 each," said IMD in a tweet.
Temperatures at 0530 hrs IST on 30th Dec 2019 and change in temperature in last 24 hours for major stations of north India:— India Met. Dept. (@Indiametdept) December 30, 2019
Statement shows that 24 hours tendency at 0530 hrs today is negative in North India. pic.twitter.com/SRvp2svKcA
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)