75 flights delayed at IGI, 2 diverted as dense fog blankets Delhi | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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75 flights delayed at IGI, 2 diverted as dense fog blankets Delhi

Jan 30, 2024 10:51 PM IST

Visibility at the airport dipped to 50 metres for more than four hours, according to the India Meteorological Department

More than 75 flights were delayed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport on Tuesday morning as dense fog returned to the Capital. Visibility at the airport dipped to 50 metres for more than four hours, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). More than 10 trains — originating from or headed to Delhi — were also late by over an hour, officials aware of the matter said.

At Delhi’s Civic Center near Connaught Place on a foggy Tuesday morning. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
At Delhi’s Civic Center near Connaught Place on a foggy Tuesday morning. (Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

An airport official said two flights were diverted on Tuesday due to dense fog, which occurred between 2.30am and 5.30am. “Both flights were diverted to the Jaipur airport,” the official said.

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IMD said the fog intensified under the impact of a western disturbance, with light rain expected across the Capital on Wednesday as a fresh western disturbance approaches the city.

“Both Palam and Safdarjung reported dense fog, with a visibility of 50 metres between 5am and 9am. Humidity was fairly high in the early hours of the day and wind speed was low, which allowed fog formation to take place. Delhi should see light rain on Wednesday and drizzle in some parts on Thursday as another western disturbance approaches the National Capital Region,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, scientist at IMD. A yellow alert is also in place for gusty winds of 30-40 km/hr, IMD said.

The minimum temperature also continued to rise and was recorded at 8.7 degrees Celsius (°C), which is around normal for this time of the season. The minimum has risen by nearly four degrees in the last four days. It was 4.3°C on Saturday, 6°C on Sunday, and 6.8°C on Monday. It is forecast to rise further to around the 10°C mark on Wednesday, owing to cloudiness, Met officials said.

Delhi’s maximum was recorded at 21.4°C — a degree below normal, with sunshine across most parts of the Capital in the afternoon. But certain locations such as Jafarpur (13.7°C) and Narela (15.6°C) recorded cold day conditions, too, with clouds not allowing sunlight to penetrate through to the surface.

IMD classifies it as a “cold day” when the maximum temperature is 4.5 degrees or more below normal.

Meanwhile, Delhi’s air quality remained in the “very poor” category on Tuesday, deteriorating by a point in comparison to Monday. The 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 357 (very poor) at 4pm. It was 356 (very poor) at 4pm on Monday.

The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) in NCR held an emergency meeting on Monday, based on forecasts showing severe air for Tuesday. However, it had decided not to invoke Stage 3 of the Graded Response Action Plan.

“The CAQM sub-committee noted that a spurt in Delhi’s average AQI, projected for Tuesday by IMD and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), is likely for a short duration, before returning to the very poor’ category owing to improved meteorological conditions including gusty winds with a probability of rain. Further, the overall outlook for subsequent days projects Delhi’s average AQI to stay in the ‘poor’ or the ‘very poor’ category. Therefore....it was decided not to invoke Stage-3 of Grap at this stage,” the CAQM had said in a statement on Monday.

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