Delhi shivers through unusual cold, records coldest October since 1962, India


Delhi's mean minimum temperature in October 2020 was 17.2 °C (63 °F)– the coldest since 1962, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). As cool temperatures persisted, the mercury plunged to 10.8 °C (51.4 °F) on November 2– the coldest of the season so far. 

The temperatures were unusually below average in October, and it was the first time the mercury pummeled below 13 °C (55.4 °F) since 2007.

The Safdarjung observatory in Delhi recorded a mean temperature of 17.2 °C (63 °F) last month, making it the coldest in 58 years when it was 16.9 °C (62.4 °F), the IMD confirmed.

Normally, the national capital records a mean temperature of 19.1 °C (66.4 °F) in October.

On October 29, the minimum temperature pummeled to 12.5 °C (54.5 °F), which was the lowest in the month of October in 26 years.

The last time the city recorded such a low temperature was on October 31, 1994, when the mercury dipped to 12.3 °C (54.1 °F).

According to Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD's regional forecasting center, the absence of cloud cover is a major reason for the cold temperatures this time. Calm winds also allow the formation of mist and fog, contributing to the minimum temperatures.

On Monday, November 2, Delhi registered a new record low of 10.8 °C (51.4 °F), which was the coldest of the season so far. The IMD noted that Delhi's average low during the first week of November is around 16 °C (60.8 °F).

The Indian Express said temperatures were unusually below average in October, and it was the first time since 2007 that temperatures lower than 13 °C (55.4 °F) has been observed in this month.

"Delhi is in the phase of seasonal transition between the southwest monsoon, which has withdrawn from the country, and winter," it stated. 

K Sathi Devi, head of the National Weather Forecasting Center, explained that after the monsoon withdrawal, the declining trend in the cool temperatures around this time is normal. 

The city is forecast to continue experiencing cool and dry weather conditions in the following days.

Featured image credit: Mayank Austen Soofi/Flickr


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