NEW DELHI: Despite clear skies and lots of sunshine, the minimum temperature on Thursday in most parts of the state capital remained close to four degrees Celsius, according to the Indian weather authority.
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The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a minimum temperature of 4.6 degrees Celsius as frosty winds from the western Himalayas swept across Delhi.
The Ayanagar and Ridge weather stations recorded minimum temperatures of 3.8 degrees Celsius and 3.5 degrees Celsius, respectively.
The maximum temperature should be around 18 degrees Celsius, said the IMD and predicted conditions for “cold days” in some places.
The IMD announced a cold spell in Delhi on Tuesday when icy winds from the snow-capped western Himalayas lowered the minimum temperature to 4.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest in the city this season.
According to IMD, the minimum temperatures should stay around five degrees Celsius through Friday.
Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the IMD’s regional forecasting center, said the western Himalayas had seen widespread snowfall due to strong western disturbance and now frosty winds were blowing towards the plains, bringing the mercury down.
The IMD declares a cold spell for the levels if the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or less and is 4.5 notches below normal on two consecutive days.
“However, for small areas like Delhi, a cold spell can be reported if the criteria are met for even one day,” said Srivastava.
A “cold day” is when the minimum temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum is 4.4 degrees Celsius below normal.
The air quality was recorded in the “poor” category.
The city’s Air Quality Index (AQI) at 11 a.m. was 248. The average 24-hour AQI was 262 on Wednesday and 230 on Tuesday.
An AQI between zero and 50 is rated as “good”, 51 and 100 as “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 as “moderate”, 201 and 300 as “bad”, 301 and 400 as “very bad” and 401 and 500 as ” difficult “viewed.