Temperatures in India's capital Delhi dropped to 12.2 °C (53.9 °F) on Tuesday, December 17, 2019, making it its lowest maximum temperature for the month of December in the past 22 years.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), this was the coldest temperature since December 28, 1997, when 11.3 °C (52.3 °F) was registered. On Monday, December 16, the coldest temperature in the city was 12.9 °C (55.2 °F), the lowest since December 2003.
The weather was dominated by strong and cold northwesterly winds from the western Himalayan region and a layer of low clouds (500 to 1 000 m (1 640 to 3 281 feet) above the ground), stopping the sunlight from reaching the surface of the earth, IMD scientist Kuldeep Srivastava said.
Despite the bitter cold, Delhi's #homeless people continue to sleep outdoors without adequate clothing & bedding. Though winter tents were to be ready by 15 November, only 22 of the 60-70 tents have been set up. Urgent action needed to protect their #Right2Life & #Right2Housing. pic.twitter.com/ZsLqO90b94— HLRN India (@HLRN_India) December 17, 2019
#Delhi records coldest day of season at 7.2 degrees https://t.co/UIxgXBbjFX #Cold #Record #WeRIndia— Werindia (@werindia) December 18, 2019
WeRIndia - India's leading news source for All the latest India and World news from 500+ sources. pic.twitter.com/TXfsVg1sIE
The difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures on Tuesday was also very low, with the minimum temperature recorded at 10.4 °C (50.7 °F).
An IMD official said December 28, 1973, has so far been the day with the lowest maximum temperature at 11.2 °C (52.2 °F).
Current satellite imageries indicate lifting of low level clouds over plains of northwest India and weakening of cold wave conditions over the northern and Indo Gangetic plains after 48 hours. pic.twitter.com/w19kyABZxy— India Met. Dept. (@Indiametdept) December 18, 2019
Meanwhile, Delhi’s average air quality index (AQI) was in the ‘moderate’ category on Tuesday with a reading of 168, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.
Among the cities in the National Capital Region, Gurgaon's AQI was 106 in the moderate range, while Ghaziabad's was 238 and Noida's 211, both in the poor range.
"A decrease in wind speed is forecast for December 19 and therefore AQI is likely to deteriorate to the higher end of ‘poor’ or the lower end of ‘very poor’ category," a report by the Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research stated.
Furthermore, the AQI may deteriorate to the 'very poor' category on Friday, December 20.
Featured image credit: HLRN India