The chilly streak that has gripped March continued for the fifth consecutive day as the Capital recorded a minimum temperature of 9.6 degrees Celsius (°C) — four degrees below normal for this time of the year. The minimum was 8.8°C on Thursday.

The India Meteorological Department attributed the prevailing nippy conditions to cold north-westerly winds and clear skies. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

Read here: Temperatures likely to stay below normal over northwest India till March 15: IMD

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) attributed the prevailing nippy conditions to cold north-westerly winds and clear skies. This takes the longest streak of sub-10°C temperatures in March to 34 years.

Meanwhile, the maximum temperature was 27.4°C, one degree below the normal, on Friday. It was a degree higher than Thursday’s 26.4°C.

Met officials said that mostly cloudy skies are expected to prevail through Saturday but the minimum will cross over to 11°C.

“The cold wind from the northwest, paired with clear skies is responsible for this cold streak. As a result of the clear skies, however, we are seeing a significantly high maximum,” said an IMD official.

Partly cloudy skies and strong surface winds of speed 25-35km/hour will blow throughout Saturday, while the effect of the cool northwesterly winds will start receding, the official added.

“The minimum is expected to go up to 11 degrees on Saturday and might go down a degree again on Sunday. But the minimum should start rising and oscillate between 12°C and 13°C from next week,” the official said.

The last time Delhi the minimum was lower than 10°C for five days in a row in March was in 1990. The minimum was below 10°C between March 1 and 5 that year — recorded at 8.3°C, 8.7°C, 9.4°C, 8.8°C and 9.3°C, respectively — IMD data showed.

This year, the minimum from March 4 to 8 were 9.5°C on March 4, 9°C (on March 5 and 6), 8.8°C on March 7 and 9.6°C on March 8.

IMD said that a western disturbance may influence the Capital next week. “Mostly cloudy skies will persist, leading up to very light rain, accompanied by thundershowers on Wednesday,” said the IMD official.

The maximum is forecast to stay around 27°C throughout the weekend and then touch 30°C by Wednesday.

Read here: Kashmir: No respite from cold wave, Pahalgam shivers at -10.3 deg C

Delhi’s air continued to stay in the “moderate” category. The 24-hour average air quality index was 156 (moderate) at 4pm on Friday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB’s) daily national bulletin. It was 181 on Thursday. “The air quality is likely to be in the ‘moderate’ category till Sunday and then deteriorate to the ‘poor’ category on Monday,” said the Early Warning System for Delhi on Friday. 


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