Monday morning saw the temperature drop to 14.4 degrees Celsius, the lowest recorded temperature this season. While this was around 4 degrees below normal, the minimum temperature in the past week was visibly above normal, ranging between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.
Regional meteorological officers attribute this drastic drop in temperature to the western disturbance up north, which is also responsible for the prevailing cold wave conditions in many northern states.
“Until now, the winds had been easterly but they have turned northerly causing the cold winds from the north to blow downwards. The cold wave conditions that we are seeing in the north is because of a western disturbance near Jammu and Kashmir,” said V K Rajiv, director of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Mumbai.
North Indian states like Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan were massively affected by this western disturbance. Severe fog and extremely low temperatures forced air and rail transport to shut down or reschedule at most places. Cold wave conditions caused temperatures to drop up to 4 degrees at most of these places. The lowest minimum temperature of -2.1 degrees was recorded at Hissar, Haryana on Monday and snowfall has been predicted at Jammu, Kashmir and Uttarakhand.
According to the IMD, the cold wave conditions and dense fog will continue to prevail in the northern states, consequently affecting temperatures in Mumbai. “The drop in temperature in the city will last another couple of days, after which it should revert to normal as the western disturbance in the north stabilizes,” said Rajiv.