Dense fog hits ops at IGI airport in Delhi, 75 flights delayed | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Dense fog hits ops at IGI airport in Delhi, 75 flights delayed

Jan 18, 2024 10:59 PM IST

Delhi experienced its warmest morning in eight days with a minimum temperature of 6.6°C, despite sub-zero temperatures in hilly regions. Dense fog disrupted transport services. Temperatures are expected to remain between 6°C and 7°C for the next three days. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts that Delhi will not experience a cold wave. The rise in minimum temperatures is attributed to warmer winds from the east. Visibility improved after sunrise but over 75 flights were delayed, four were diverted, and five were cancelled. At least 18 trains were delayed by over an hour.

Delhi’s minimum temperature jumped by nearly a degree to 6.6°C on Thursday morning, giving the city its warmest morning in eight days despite sub-zero temperatures in several hilly regions up north.

The haze was dense between 12.30am and 6.30am. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)
The haze was dense between 12.30am and 6.30am. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

Meanwhile, a thick fog smudged out the city’s silhouettes for six hours past midnight on Wednesday, taking commuters by surprise and hobbling mass transit services.

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Temperatures are likely to swing between 6°C and 7°C for the next three days.

and are unlikely to drop into the cold wave zone, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD), in a strong indication that the sharpest chill this season may be past Delhi.

Thursday’s minimum was a degree below normal and a jump from 5.7°C a day ago, which itself was a significant increase from 3.5°C the day before that.

It was also the second straight day that Delhi has been free of cold wave conditions, after a five-day spell of temperatures below 4°C.

Weather officials pinned the rise in minimum temperatures to warmer winds that were coursing into Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) from the east.

In comparison, winds that blow in from the northwest bring in cold air from the Himalayas.

The maximum temperature also increased marginally to 18.6°C, a degree below normal, as against 18.2°C a day earlier and 17.4°C on Tuesday.

However, the warmer nights did little to keep a thick fog from forming. The haze became most dense between 12.30am and 6.30am, according to IMD, and blinded commuters, slashing visibility to 50m even in residential neighbourhoods.

This resulted in over 75 flights being delayed, four being diverted and at least five cancelled. Meanwhile, at least 18 trains — either originating from or bound for the Capital — were also delayed by over an hour, said officials of the Northern Railway.

Delhi airport data showed the flights were diverted between 1.30am and 2.30am, with two diverted to Jaipur, one to Hyderabad and one to Mumbai.

“Visibility began to improve with sunrise, with conditions clearing up entirely by 11am,” said an IMD official.

Meanwhile, an airport official said a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) inspection of the runway 28/10 — under maintenance since August last year — is likely to take place on Friday, with this becoming operational soon after, if cleared.

This is likely to help decongest the airport further, as the runway can handle CAT-III compliant flights.

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