The national capital had the worst fog of the season on Sunday, bringing visibility down to below-50 meters for several hours. The fog paralysed flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport and caused delays during the peak holiday season. Delays were also caused in the rail network across Northern India.
According to airport officials, over 50 flights were diverted, 150 delayed and several cancelled between 7.30 a.m and 10 a.m. on all three runways. Flights started landing after 10 am and take-offs resumed after 11:30 am, officials said. The delays had a cascading effect as passengers complained of chaos at the airport, which was packed to capacity.
Passengers were stuck at other airports in the country as well, as the bad weather delayed incoming flights to Delhi. Northern Railways reported 15 trains cancelled, 57 delayed and 18 rescheduled due to early morning fog.
Holidays travellers might not have it easy on the first day of the new year as well as the MeT department has forecast dense fog in the morning and shallow fog during the day.
It has also forecast a cold day with the minimum temperature expected to fall to 5 degrees Celsius, the lowest forecast yet for this season. The maximum temperature is likely to settle at 23 degrees Celsius, three degrees above normal for this time of the year.
The maximum and minimum temperatures recoded on Sunday were 23.4 degrees Celsius and 6.4 degrees Celsius.
A weather warning by the MeT department has also forecast sense fog at many places over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and west-Uttar Pradesh and at most places over east- Uttar Pradesh for January 1. “Cold wave conditions very likely at a few places over south-Punjab, west-Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, north Rajasthan and east-Uttar Pradesh,” said an official at the MeT department.