NEW DELHI: As the country welcomed the New Year with open arms, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted rainfall, with thunderstorm and hailstorm, for northern India from January 3-5, even as Delhi recorded its lowest 3.3 degrees Celsius on December 31.

The weather department has predicted cold wave to severe cold wave conditions over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Madhya Pradesh during next 24 hours on Friday.

New Year revellers have to be aware that there will be dense to very dense fog with visibility under 50 metres in some parts of northern India till January 1. A cold wave occurs in plains when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below or is 4.5 notches lesser than the season`s normal for two consecutive days. Delhi was coldest at Lodhi Road area at 3.1, while Haryana was coldest in Hisar.

Apprising about the overall weather in Northern India, Navdeep Dahiya, founder of Live Weather of India, said, “There is insane cold wave in North India. “Hisar in Haryana recorded minus 1.2 degrees Celsius minimum temperature on Thursday, coldest temperature in the decade for December. In 2018 minus 1 degrees Celsius was recorded on December 26. All time lowest for December is minus 1.5 degrees Celsius in 1973.”

In Delhi, dense fog reduced visibility to just 50 metres, as the minimum temperature in the city dipped to 3.3 degrees Celsius on Thursday. “Rainfall accompanied with thunderstorm or hailstorm over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, north Rajasthan, West Uttar Pradesh and northwest Madhya Pradesh from January 3 to 5, with maximum intensity on January 4,” the IMD said in its daily bulletin.

Scattered to fairly widespread rainfall will be due to the influence of interaction between Western Disturbance and lower-level easterlies from the Bay of Bengal. A fresh western disturbance is likely to affect western Himalayas and adjoining plain from January 3 onwards. There will be no significant change in minimum temperatures over most parts of Northwest and Central India during next 24 hours, but a rise by three to five degrees Celsius thereafter for subsequent two days.

“At 3.3 degrees Celsius, Delhi recorded the lowest minimum temperature of the season,” said Mahesh Palawat from private weather forecasting agency, Skymet Weather. The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a minimum of 3.3 degrees Celsius.

Lodhi Road weather station registered a minimum of 3.1 degrees Celsius. On December 20, Delhi had logged a minimum of 3.4 degrees Celsius. Palawat, however, said that the temperature will increase by January 2 and the cold wave will abate across northwest India.

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