At 2.4C, Delhi shivers, rain adds to chill

The capital recorded the lowest December temperature in the last 18 years on Sunday night and Monday morning, with some areas in West Delhi even recording a minimum of 0-1 degrees Celsius.

Light and sudden rains were seen from Monday evening as forecast by the Indian Meteorological Department, pushing temperatures down further at night.

Monday's minimum of 2.4 degrees was five degrees below normal and two notches below Sunday's 4.5 degrees. The maximum temperature in the last 24 hours was recorded at 19.5 degrees Celsius, which is a degree below normal.

Jafarpur and Mungeshpur regions in West Delhi saw the minimum temperature dip to 0.7 and 0.9 degrees Celsius, respectively; and a maximum temperature of 18.5 and 18.2 degrees. The minimum temperature recorded at Ayanagar was 1.2 degrees and, at Najafgarh, it was 2.6 degrees Celsius.

Met officials said fresh western disturbance hitting the northern Himalayan region had brought the sudden but significant rainfall in Delhi and NCR regions. The Met department now expects a sudden and significant increase in the temperatures and a cloudy but comfortable New Year eve with 8-10 degrees Celsius.

A thick blanket of fog accompanied by icy winds left people in the city shivering in the early hours of Monday. "We had expected sudden rain and a cloudy night after that. Now, temperatures will rise to 8-10 degrees," a senior Met official said.

The weatherman predicted similar weather conditions on Tuesday with morning fog giving way to a clear sky later in the day.

The temperature is likely to be between 3 and 18 degrees Celsius. According to experts, the drop in temperature will also lead to poor visibility and smog with a number of people burning solid waste in the open to keep warm.

"The biggest problem is the burning of rubber tyres. Burning of leaves is also a problem," Bhure Lal, EPCA chairman.

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