Cold start to the year, mercury dips to season low 4°C

The first day of the new year recorded the lowest temperature of the season so far, with the mercury dipping to 4 degrees Celsius — three notches below normal. But the maximum temperature on Tuesday climbed two points to reach 15.3 degrees Celsius. The day-time temperature on Monday was 13.3 degrees Celsius.

Dense fog and low stratus clouds, combined with strong westerly winds in the region, prevented the sun from shining through, causing the mercury to plummet, the Met department said.

The fog and bad weather affected flights at Indira Gandhi International Airport. Four international flights were diverted as visibility dropped to 50 metres, airport officials said. About 60 flights were delayed and 38 were cancelled because of operational reasons or weather at destination airports.

Fog started to descend around 10.30 pm on Monday night and was the most dense around 2.30 am. Fog lifted after 9.30 am on Tuesday.

The first 22 days of December were completely fog free, which, according to Met officials, is unusual.

They said normally at least 28 days of the month witness at least shallow fog in the morning.

Met officials said a clear sky is expected in the Capital on Wednesday, with a maximum temperature of 16 degrees Celsius.

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