Delhi and its neighbouring areas woke up to a thick layer of fog on Wednesday morning, affecting the visibility on roads and disrupting the flight and train operations. The cold wave conditions have worsened the situation, forcing the authorities to issue advisories and causing inconvenience to the commuters and residents.
Fog affects flight and train services
According to the flight tracking app flightradar24, hundreds of departing flights were delayed by 25 minutes on an average and flight arrivals were delayed by eight minutes due to the fog. Some flights were also cancelled or diverted to other airports. Delhi Airport issued a passenger advisory, asking the passengers to contact their airlines for updated flight information. The advisory also stated that flights that are not CAT III compliant may get affected by the fog. CAT III runways enable the planes to land during poor visibility.
The fog also affected the train services, as several trains arriving to and departing from Delhi were delayed or cancelled. The Indian Railways issued a list of trains that were rescheduled or partially cancelled due to the fog. The passengers were advised to check the train status before travelling.
Fog impacts daily life and business
The fog not only hampered the travel plans of the people, but also impacted their daily life and business. Visuals from various locations in Delhi showed residents huddling around bonfires to shield themselves from the biting cold. The plummeting temperatures have also led to challenges in daily commuting, as the visibility dropped to zero in some areas. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) reported very dense fog in isolated pockets of Punjab, Haryana, Northwest Rajasthan, and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The fog also affected the business activities, as customers stayed away from venturing out in the intense fog. A local shopkeeper in the Red Fort area told ANI, “We are resorting to bonfires to keep ourselves warm, and this cold spell is expected to continue till February. Due to the dense fog, customers are not visiting my shop.”
Light rain likely in Delhi
The IMD has predicted light rain or thundershowers, accompanied by gusty winds, in Delhi on Wednesday. The rain is likely to improve the air quality, which has been in the ‘poor’ category for the past few days. The rain may also bring some relief from the cold wave, as the minimum temperature is expected to rise to 10 degrees Celsius on Thursday. However, the maximum temperature is likely to drop to 18 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, making it the coldest day of the season so far.
The IMD has also issued a yellow alert for Delhi, indicating the possibility of severe weather. The department has advised people to avoid outdoor activities and take precautions against respiratory infections.
Delhi and the rest of north India have been experiencing cold wave conditions this January, breaking many records. According to an IMD report, Delhi has experienced the coldest January in 13 years, with the maximum temperature recorded at 17.7 degrees Celsius. The nights have also been the coldest this year after 2013, the report added.