Updated January 20th, 2024 at 07:19 IST
Low Visibility Persists as Cold Wave Continues to Grip Regions in North India, IMD Issues Red Alert
The IMD had also warned of disruptions as temperatures plummeted below normal.
New Delhi: Several regions in North India are grappling with low visibility, recorded at around 500 metres, leading to disruptions in daily life. As of 23:30 hours IST on January 19, 2024, Jammu airport in Jammu & Kashmir reported a visibility of 200 metres, while Hisar in Haryana and Chandigarh registered 200 and 500 metres, respectively. Pathankot airport in Punjab and Dehradun in Uttarakhand both recorded 500 metres visibility. Meanwhile, Churu and Jaipur in Rajasthan, Jhansi in West Uttar Pradesh, Gaya in Bihar, and Ranchi & Jamshedpur in Jharkhand reported 500 metres visibility. Palam airport in Delhi recorded slightly better visibility at 1200 metres.
The weather forecast for January 20 predicts a low of 7.0°C, a high of 15.0°C, dense to very dense fog, and a cold to severe cold day. In Delhi, people are seeking refuge in night shelter homes as the cold wave persists in the national capital.
IMD’s Red Alert for North Indian States
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for several regions in North India, indicating the persistence of severe weather conditions until January 25. The alert warns of dense to very dense fog, expected to continue for the next five days, coupled with cold day to severe cold day conditions prevailing over the region for the next three days. The IMD employs a colour-coded warning system, with red indicating the most severe conditions, posing significant risks to life and potential disruptions to travel and power.
According to the IMD's detailed weather analysis, the winter chill has tightened its grip across North India, creating a tapestry of cold wave conditions and dense fog enveloping the region. On January 19, Bikaner in West Rajasthan and Kanpur in East Uttar Pradesh reported the lowest minimum temperatures at a frigid 2.4°C, significantly below the normal range. Isolated pockets of south Haryana, south Uttar Pradesh, and north Rajasthan are also experiencing temperatures below the normal range by 2-4°C.
The cold wave has not spared other parts of the region, with isolated pockets of Punjab, East Uttar Pradesh, West Rajasthan, and north Madhya Pradesh facing similar conditions. The mercury has dipped to a range of 6-10°C over most parts of Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, the remaining regions of Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. Visibility has been significantly reduced due to dense to very dense fog, extending over Punjab, Haryana, East Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Rajasthan, northeast Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim, Assam & Meghalaya, and Tripura.
IMD attributes these conditions to strong jet stream winds, ranging between 250-320 kmph, persisting at an altitude of about 12 km above mean sea level over the plains of North India. These winds contribute to the subsidence of cold air, enhancing the cold wave and cold day conditions in the area. Previous day's weather records indicate that many parts of Uttar Pradesh were under the grip of cold to severe cold day conditions, extending to some parts of Bihar, West Rajasthan, and isolated pockets of Punjab, Haryana, north Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and East Rajasthan.
Published January 20th, 2024 at 07:17 IST