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The lowest temperature recorded last November was 11.4°C, in 2018 it was 10.5°C. The India Meteorological Department is likely to declare a cold wave on Saturday if the temperature remains five degrees below normal.
Snowfall in hills brings in cold air
The maximum temperature on Friday was 25.4°C, two notches below normal. Scientists at IMD said the sharp drop in temperature is mainly due to cold wind blowing from the snow-clad Himalayan region and lack of cloud cover.
Kuldeep Srivastava, scientist at IMD and head, regional weather forecasting centre, said, “As the wind direction continues to be north-westerly, cold winds are coming from Jammu and Himachal Pradesh, which received snowfall. Besides, clear skies in the day cause heat to dissipate quickly and make nights cooler than usual.”
On Thursday, the city had recorded a minimum temperature of 9.4°C. In 2017, the minimum temperature had dipped to 7.6°C in the last week of November. IMD data showed that the average normal minimum temperature is 12.9°C. Delhi even saw its coldest October in 58 years this time with an average minimum temperature of 17.2°C.
According to the forecast, the minimum and maximum temperatures on Saturday are likely to be around 8o C and 25°C, respectively. “The minimum and maximum temperatures are expected to further reduce to 7°C and 24°C on Sunday,” said Srivastava.
Meanwhile, the city’s air quality index in the “poor” category on Friday with a reading of 296. The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research, the forecasting body under the Union ministry of earth sciences, said 495 fire counts were observed in neighbouring states and the share of stubble burning in Delhi’s PM2.5 was 15%.