New Delhi, Nov 21 (PTI) Minimum temperatures in most parts of northern India remained below normal on Saturday with the meteorological department predicting a rise in night temperatures on Monday due to a western disturbance approaching the northwest part of the country.
The national capital recorded a minimum temperature of 8.5 degrees Celsius on Saturday, a day after the city witnessed its coldest November morning in 14 years, while the air quality remained in the 'poor' category recording a 24-hour average AQI of 251.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.
The minimum temperature was four notches below the normal, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data.
Kuldeep Srivastava, head of the IMD's regional forecasting centre, said the minimum temperature in Delhi was likely to increase Monday onwards under the influence of a fresh western disturbance.
At 7.5 degrees Celsius, Delhi on Friday recorded its lowest minimum temperature in the month of November since November 29, 2006, when the city recorded a low of 7.3 degrees Celsius.
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 for two consecutive days.
Mahesh Palawat, an expert at Skymet Weather, a private forecasting agency, said cold winds blowing from snow-laden western Himalayas have led to a dip in the mercury, and a similar situation will continue till Saturday.
A fresh western disturbance is approaching northwest India on November 23. It is likely to increase the minimum temperature by a few notches, he said.
Minimum temperatures dipped across parts of Rajasthan on Saturday with Churu being the coldest in the plains at 5.5 degrees Celsius. The night temperature in Mount Abu, the sole hill station in the state, was 1 degree Celsius.
Sikar, Pilani, Ajmer, Ganganagar, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaipur recorded their respective minimums at 6.5 degrees Celsius, 7.9 degrees Celsius, 9.5 degrees Celsius, 10.3 degrees Celsius, 11 degrees Celsius, 11.4 degrees Celsius and 11.6 degrees Celsius respectively.
The night temperature was 12 degrees Celsius in Jaisalmer and 12.7 degrees Celsius in Barmer, according to the meteorological department here.
The maximum and minimum temperatures stayed below normal levels in Punjab and Haryana, with the weather department predicting dry weather in the two states for the next couple of days.
Chandigarh, the joint capital of the two states, recorded a high of 22.2 degrees Celsius, four notches below normal.
In Punjab, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala recorded maximum temperatures at 22.2 degrees Celsius, 21.8 degrees Celsius and 23.3 degrees Celsius respectively, up to five degrees below normal.
In Haryana, Ambala recorded a high of 21.9 degrees Celsius, five notches below the normal, while Hisar's maximum was 23 degrees Celsius, six degrees below normal. Narnaul's maximum was 26.2 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperatures too hovered between 1 to 4 degrees below the normal at most places in the two states.
The weather was dry in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday and is likely to remain so for the next three days.
Cold conditions continued in Himachal Pradesh with the meteorological department predicting rain and snowfall in the state in the next few days.
Manali, Keylong and Kalpa shivered at sub-zero temperatures while Shimla recorded a low of 5.1 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Manali of Kullu district was minus one degree Celsius. Tribal district Lahaul and Spiti's administrative centre Keylong was recorded the coldest place in Himachal Pradesh at minus 3.8 degrees Celsius.
Kinnaur's Kalpa recorded a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature in Kufri and Dalhousie were 3.4 degrees Celsius and 3.7 degrees Celsius, respectively. Rain is likely in the mid hills and snowfall in high hills from November 22 to 25. Rainfall is also likely in isolated places of plains and low hills of the state on November 23.
In West Bengal, the weatherman has forecast light to moderate rainfall in southern districts till Sunday as Kolkata experienced rainfall on Saturday morning, bringing down day temperatures considerably.
Kolkata received 22 mm rainfall till 8.30 am. The minimum temperature, which was around 22 degrees Celsius on Friday, is likely to fall a few notches in the coming few days.
Under the influence of a cyclonic circulation over equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining Southeast Bay of Bengal, a low pressure area has formed over Equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining central parts of South Bay of Bengal, the IMD said.
It is likely to concentrate into a depression over Southwest Bay of Bengal during next 48 hours and reach near Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coast on November 25 bringing rain and thunderstorm in the region, the weatherman said. PTI TEAM NSD