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Record cold spell continues in Delhi, night temperature to fall further

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New Delhi, Dec 27: Extreme cold conditions continued in Delhi on Friday, December 27, as it witnessed a foggy morning with the mercury dipping to 4.2°C, two notches below the season's average.

The national capital continues to recorded the longest extreme December cold spell since 1997, as per the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

People warm themselves around a bonfire on a cold wintry morning, in New Delhi

The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides official figures for Delhi, recorded the lowest maximum temperature of 12.2 degrees Celsius on December 18. The weather station at Palam recorded the lowest maximum of 11.4 degrees Celsius on December 25. Since December 14, most parts of the city have witnessed 13 consecutive "cold days" or a 13-day "cold spell".

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    According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Delhi is going to experience cold days or severe cold day conditions till December 29, after which it could see a rise in day temperature. The night temperature is expected to fall further over the next two days.

    Not just Delhi, but the neighbouring regions of Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurugram were also under the grip of severe cold wave.

    With a numbing cold continuing to sweep through Delhi-NCR, the region is expected to record its second-coldest December since 1901, the weather department said on Thursday.

    "The mean maximum temperature for December was less than 20 degrees Celsius only in 1919, 1929, 1961 and 1997," an official of the India Meteorological Department said.

    In December this year, the mean maximum temperature (MMT) till Thursday was 19.85 degrees Celsius. It is expected to dip to 19.15 degrees Celsius by December 31, he said.

    "If it happens, it will be the second-coldest December since 1901. December 1997 recorded the lowest MMT of 17.3 degrees Celsius," the official said.

    The last time such a long cold spell was witnessed was in December 1997. The national capital recorded the maximum of 17 cold days in December 1997. After 1992, Delhi has had cold spells only in four years - 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2014. "Severe cold day/cold day" conditions are predicted till December 29. On Thursday, the city recorded a low of 5.8 degrees Celsius and a high of 13.4 degrees Celsius, seven notches below normal.

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    Humidity levels shot up to 100 per cent. A severe cold day and a moderate fog is predicted on Friday.

    A cold wave is likely to grip the national capital on the weekend as the mercury is predicted to drop to 4 degrees Celsius, the Met department said. Some relief is expected next week due to a change in the wind direction. According to the IMD, a "cold day" is when the maximum temperature is at least 4.5 notches below normal.

    A "severe cold day" is when the maximum temperature is at least 6.5 degrees Celsius below normal.

    (With PTI inputs)

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