With the mean temperature of 10.2 °C (50.4 °F), the month of November 2020 ended up as Delhi's coldest November since 1949. The average mean minimum temperature for the month is around 12.9 °C (55.5 °F), according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
IMD data shows that Delhi also experienced its coldest October in 58 years, with the mean minimum temperature pummeling to 17.2 °C (63 °F). In 1962, the mean minimum temperature for October was 16.9 °C (62.4 °F)
The temperatures are likely to worsen, with IMD's seasonal forecast predicting a colder winter season with below-average minimum temperatures in New Delhi, as well as in parts of north and northwest India.
On Monday, November 30, Delhi recorded its coldest November day with the minimum temperature dropping to 6.9 °C (44.4 °F).
According to Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting center, the cold temperatures in November are attributed to "a combination of factors including global conditions such as La Nina," and local ones such as "an absence of cloud cover, whenever there are clear skies, the minimum temperature drops."
In addition, the capital experienced four cold waves last month-- on November 3, 20, 23, and 24. The last time the city saw multiple cold waves in November was in 1964, when three cold snaps occurred.
The last time Delhi experienced a significant cold wave in November was six years ago, in 2014.
The previous all-time low minimum temperature for November was at 8.9 °C (48 °F) set in 1930.
IMD director-general M. Mohaptra explained that while global factors like La Nina have contributed to record temperatures, this is magnified when local and regional factors also contribute, leading to extreme weather conditions, such as what Delhi has experienced in November.
Featured image credit: Kinshuk Sunil