Extreme Weather Alert: North India Experiences Harsh Cold Wave, Disrupts Travel and Education Plans

Extreme Weather Alert: North India Experiences Harsh Cold Wave, Disrupts Travel and Education Plans

Severe cold wave conditions persisted in multiple areas of Punjab, East Madhya Pradesh, northwest Rajasthan, and West Uttar Pradesh.

On Tuesday, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, and Eastern Uttar Pradesh were enveloped by thick, almost impenetrable fog, creating frigid conditions across most of the region. According to the Meteorological Department, this has resulted in a cold wave, and in some areas, a severe cold wave, in parts of Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi.

According to the classification from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), visibility between 0-50 meters is classified as ‘very dense’ fog. When visibility falls between 51-200 meters, it is labeled as ‘dense’ fog, while ‘moderate’ fog ranges from 201-500 meters and ‘shallow’ fog ranges from 501-1,000 meters. In various regions such as Punjab, East Madhya Pradesh, northwest Rajasthan, and West Uttar Pradesh, the weather remained in a state of cold wave to severe cold wave. Temperatures continued to measure below normal (-1.6 to -3 degrees Celsius) in several locations including Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Gangetic West Bengal, Karnataka, Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit, Baltistan, and Muzaffarabad. Near-normal temperature readings were observed in other parts of the country.

Weather forecast for next few days

According to the latest projections from the Meteorological Department, minimum temperatures in Northwest India are expected to gradually increase by 2-3 degrees Celsius in the next four to five days. Similarly, East India is predicted to experience a rise of 3-4 degrees Celsius in minimum temperatures over the same period.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted that certain regions of Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana will experience cold temperatures on January 17. They have also predicted dense to very dense fog in some areas of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, and Delhi, while Bihar and select regions in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, and Sikkim may also experience dense fog. On January 18, dense fog is expected to occur in some parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand, with isolated areas in Rajasthan projected to experience cold wave conditions. The forecast for January 19 and 20 includes dense fog in select pockets of Punjab, Haryana-Chandigarh-Delhi, and isolated regions in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand. Stay prepared for these weather conditions in the upcoming days.

Dense fog across North India

At 8:30 in the morning, the national capital’s Ayanagar and Safdarjung areas had a recorded visibility of just 25 meters, while Ridge and Palam areas were slightly better at 50 meters.

At 5:30 am, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh had reported zero meters of visibility, while Lucknow, the state capital, recorded a visibility of 25 meters. In West Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior had a visibility of 50 meters. The situation was even worse in West Rajasthan, where Ganganagar reported a visibility of 50 meters due to dense fog. In Bihar, Gaya and Purnea also had low visibility of 200 meters in dense fog. The same scenario was observed in East Madhya Pradesh, where Khajuraho, Satna, and Rewa stations registered a visibility of 50 meters at 8:30 am. The Jammu Division also experienced dense fog, as the Jammu airport had a visibility of 50 meters. Additionally, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim were affected by dense fog as well.

Flights and trains affected

According to airport officials, nearly thirty flights were facing delays at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport due to inclement weather, with an additional seventeen flights being cancelled.

Earlier today, the Delhi airport released an advisory announcing that low visibility procedures were being implemented. Despite this, all flight operations are running smoothly at the moment. Passengers are advised to stay updated by contacting their airlines for any changes in flight schedules. The foggy conditions causing low visibility also led to delays for 30 trains bound for Delhi.

The district magistrate has issued a mandatory directive stating that all schools in Patna must close until Saturday, January 20 for students up to class 8, citing the harsh winter weather in Bihar’s capital city. However, classes 9th to 12th will continue with their regular schedule from 9 am to 3:30 pm, with no educational activities allowed after 3:30 pm.

According to a formal declaration from the district’s Basic Education Officer, all schools in Gautam Buddha Nagar were directed to close their doors to students in classes up to 8 until Tuesday, January 16.

The Punjab government has announced that primary schools will remain closed until January 21, as stated on Sunday. However, students in other classes can resume their regular schooling on January 15. Classes 6 to 12 will be open with operating hours from 10 am to 3 pm.