Delhi woke up to foggy morning on Wednesday as a thick blanket of fog covered the national capital disrupting flight and train operations.
Heavy fog engulfed parts of the city with the minimum temperature settling at a notch below normal. The minimum temperature was recorded at 7 degrees Celsius, according to the MeT department.
The humidity level was 100 per cent and visibility 50 metres.
Five flights were diverted and as many as 22 trains delayed by up to eight hours as visibility dropped.
Five flights have been diverted from Delhi Airport due to bad weather as pilots are not trained to land under CAT III (low visibility) conditions, a Delhi Airport official was quoted as saying by ANI.
When the runway visual range (RVR) is minimum 200 metres, then only that pilot, who is trained in instrument landing system Category 3A (CATIIIA), can land the aircraft.
If the RVR is minimum 50 metres, then a pilot who is trained in using CATIIIB landing system can land the aircraft at the airport.
Over 30 departures were delayed at the Delhi airport as visibility dropped below 150 metres.
In a tweet, Delhi airport informed the passengers about the low visibility which might affect the flight departures. “Flight departure may be affected due to low visibility. Passengers are requested to contact the airline concerned for updated flight information. Any inconvenience caused is regretted,” the tweet read.
Several airlines, including SpiceJet, Vistara and Indigo, had earlier tweeted that the dense fog is likely to affect arrivals and departures at the airport.
#WeatherUpdate Due to bad weather (Poor Visibility) at Delhi (DEL), all departures/arrivals and their consequential flights might get affected. Passengers are requested to keep a check on their flight status via https://t.co/u9dvEZRAK7.
— SpiceJet (@flyspicejet) January 21, 2020
#TravelUpdate : Due to dense fog in Delhi, arrivals/departures from Delhi are likely to get impacted. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/EM5k6dXEYv
— Vistara (@airvistara) January 22, 2020
According to Northern Railway officials, Ghazipur-Anand Vihar Express was delayed by 8 hours, followed by Rewa-Anand Vihar Rewa Express running behind schedule by 6 hours, Azamgarh-Delhi Junction Kaifiyat Express was delayed by 5 hours and 45 minutes.
Even the Bhagalpur-Anand Vihar Garib Rath was delayed by 5 hours, Katihar-Amritsar Express and Jamnagar-Katra Superfast were running behind schedule by 4 hours.
The Mau-Anand Vihar Express was delayed by 3 hours and 45 minutes, Gaya-New Delhi Mahabodhi Express was delayed by 3 hours.
On Tuesday, 25 Delhi-bound trains were delayed due to fog in several parts of northern India.
According to the weatherman, the minimum temperature is likely to drop to 6 degrees Celsius in the next two days.
Delhi-NCR may not see relief from the winter chills anytime soon, as according to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), another Western Disturbance is likely in the last week of the month that will further bring down the mercury.
On January 28, the National Capital Region might witness light rains. Foggy conditions will also prevail during that time.
Earlier, Delhi’s mean maximum temperature (MMT) for December stood at 18.76 degrees Celsius, the second-lowest after 17.3 degrees Celsius recorded in December 1997.
December had recorded 18 consecutive “cold days” or an 18-day “cold spell”, the maximum after 17 cold days in December 1997.