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Cold spell intensifies in Delhi-NCR, with no relief until Dec 21: IMD


The cold snap in Delhi intensified further on Thursday as the maximum temperature dropped to 15.2 degrees Celsius, seven degrees below normal, exacerbated by the fast icy winds that blew during the day and left city residents trembling.

A seven degree deviation from normal meant that the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) categorized Thursday as a “severe cold day”. This was the fourth consecutive day of “cold” or “severe cold”, and meteorological scientists did not predict any relief over the weekend.

The day’s low temperature was recorded around 8:30 a.m. Thursday: 4.6 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal. This means that the gap between the maximum and minimum temperature on Thursday was only around 10 degrees Celsius.

Scientists say that temperature figures alone cannot capture the bitter cold that most people experience during the day because “temperature perception” is probably even lower due to freezing winds. For example, the “feel like” temperature for Thursday’s low temperature is around two to three degrees Celsius.

“The ‘feel of’ temperature is much lower due to the icy winds blowing at 15-20 km / h. We do not expect relief from the severe cold until December 21. At that time a western disturbance is approaching that will not have much impact on the plains. But the relief will be marginal, an increase of just one or two degrees Celsius, ”explained Mahesh Palawat, vice president of climate change and meteorology at Skymet Weather.

The “feel like” temperature takes into account wind speed and humidity to assess how the human body actually feels temperature. “For example, in winter, a strong wind can feel much colder than the measured temperature would indicate. Conversely, on a humid summer day, it can feel uncomfortably hotter than air temperatures alone would suggest, ”explains the UK Met Office.

Many stations in northwestern India recorded extremely low minimum temperatures on Thursday: Churu recorded 2.2 ° C; Bikaner 3.1 ° C; Mt Abu -1 ° C; Sikar 0.5 ° C; Bareilly 3.3 ° C; Delhi mountain range 3.5 ° C; Narnaul 2.6 ° C; Ranichauri -1.4 ° C; and Gulmarg -11 ° C. Daytime temperatures were also unusually low: Wednesday (maximum temperature data has been tabulated for Wednesday) Jammu recorded 14.4 ° C; Kathua 10; Keylong 3.3; Dalhousie 1.5; Amritsar 8.2; Bathinda 10; Hisar and Karnal at 15; Churu 16; Ganganagar 13.4.

“Icy winds are blowing from the snow capped mountains towards Delhi now. Around December 15-20, climatologically we also see a sharp drop in temperatures as the sun’s rays fall slightly inclined and not vertical. There is also high fog in some regions of northwestern India, which also does not allow the surface to warm up during the day. In general, icy winds due to heavy snow cover over the Himalayas are the main driver of extremely cold days, ”explained Kuldeep Shrivastava, director of the regional weather forecast center.

IMD had warned on Wednesday that “cold snap” to “severe cold” conditions can have a number of serious health impacts that should not be ignored. There is a higher probability of various illnesses like flu, nasal congestion or nosebleed, chills which is a first sign that the body is losing heat. Long-term exposure to extreme cold can cause frostbite, causing the skin to become pale, hard, and numb and eventually black blisters to appear on exposed parts of the body, such as fingers, toes, nose, or the earlobes. Severe frostbite needs immediate medical attention and treatment.

The impact-based warning issued by IMD for cold wave recommends that people wear insulating shoes, hydrate skin, increase vitamin C intake, limit outdoor activities, maintain ventilation while wearing heaters, avoid drinking alcohol as reduces body heat, etc.

Some of those exposed to heavy fog may also experience health impacts. Dense fog contains particulate matter and other pollutants that can lodge in the lungs and cause episodes of wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. People with asthma and bronchitis are particularly vulnerable.

According to IMD, a “cold day” or a “severe cold day” is considered based on two parameters: a minimum temperature of less than 10 degrees Celsius and a maximum temperature of 4.5 degrees Celsius or 6.4 degrees Celsius below than normal, respectively.

A cold snap occurs on the plains when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or lower and / or is 4.5 notches lower than normal for the season for two consecutive days. A cold wave is also declared when the minimum temperature is below 4 degrees C in the plain. Witnessing a cold day and a cold snap together means that the gap between day and night temperatures was lower than normal.

“Cold snap to severe cold snap” conditions are highly likely at some points over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, West Uttar Pradesh and northern Rajasthan for the next three days and will decrease thereafter according to the IMD bulletin. . “Cold day to severe cold day” conditions are likely to occur in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, northern Rajasthan and northwestern Uttar Pradesh for the next two days and decrease thereafter. Heavy fog is likely in some foci over Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram for the next three days.

“There was heavy and widespread snowfall in the western Himalayas from December 11-13 and then dense fog began to register in many places, leading to cold day conditions. Due to the extremely cold winds, we have issued an impact-based warning for the first time that tells people what to do during waves and cold days, ”added RK Jenamani, Senior Scientist at the National Weather Forecast Center.

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