What is already being touted as the coldest winter in many years is set to worsen with an inevitable record drop in mercury to be experienced soon. As per weather reports, the spine-chilling cold will be felt between January 14 and 19, and the peak will be observed from January 16 to 18 with the temperature dropping up to -40 Celsius even in many plain areas of Northern India.
The J&K and Ladakh belt have already been experiencing sub-zero temperatures at length. Many habitable areas of the region that have a decent amount of population are facing unforgivable winters with some towns recording a maximum temperature in the range of -4 to -60 C during the entire day and the same is predicted to continue for the next few days.
Other northern states namely Punjab, Haryana, New Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and the northern parts of Madhya Pradesh that have already been facing petrifying cold will have no respite during the course of the coming week with the minimum temperatures ranging between 0 to -40 C to a maximum temperature of 20 C. The scattered snowfall and rain showers in the hill states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand will only add to the existing cold situation.
According to RK Jenamani, scientist, India Meteorological Department, one of the main reasons for such spine-tingling cold at such a length is the thick blanket of fog that is covering the majority part of Northern India preventing sunlight from reaching the surface and affecting the balance and since there is no heating in the day time besides the impact of the night, the mercury has been dipping at a constant pace. One weather expert even tweeted, “Never seen temperature ensemble going this low in a prediction model so far in my career. Freezing -4°c to +2°c in plains, Wow.”
Although the fog situation has improved slightly with better visibility in some parts giving partial relief to people, but the dense fog will make a comeback by January 14 and the predicted cold spell will potentially be the chilliest phase of this winter season after which some relief can be expected.