Delhi braces for cold wave in run-up to New Year

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New Delhi, Dec 28 (PTI) A cold wave is likely to grip parts of Delhi over the next four days as frosty winds from the Himalayas have started blowing towards the plains, weather department officials said on Monday.

The minimum and maximum temperatures in the national capital settled at 5.6 degrees Celsius and 20.9 degrees Celsius, respectively.

The Ayanagar and Jafarpur weather stations recorded a minimum of 4 degrees Celsius and 4.7 degrees Celsius, respectively, they said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the mercury may drop to three degrees Celsius on New Year's Eve. Cold wave conditions are predicted in parts of the city over the next four days, it said.

Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the regional forecasting centre of IMD, said a western disturbance led to 'scattered to fairly widespread' snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The wind system has withdrawn. Now, cold and dry northerly/northwesterly winds from the western Himalayas will bring the minimum temperature in north India down by three to five degrees Celsius, he said.

'Cold wave to severe cold wave conditions are likely in isolated pockets over Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan. Ground frost and dense fog is likely in isolated pockets in the region,' the IMD added.

For the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 notches less than normal. A 'severe' cold wave is when the minimum temperature dips to two degrees Celsius or the departure is more than 6.4 degrees Celsius. On Sunday last, the Safdarjung observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a minimum of 3.4 degrees Celsius, the lowest this season so far.

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