New Delhi, Dec 31 (IANS) Delhi shivered as chilly winds swept the city Monday and mercury plunged seven notches below average at 13.3 degrees Celsius, making it the coldest day of the season as well as the coldest Dec 31 in the past five years.
Dec 27, when the maximum temperature dipped to 16.6 degrees Celsius, was so far the coldest day of the season while the second coldest Dec 31 in the last five years was in 2011 when the maximum temperature was 19 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature too was recorded two notches below average at 5.5 degrees Celsius.
As Year 2012 drew to a close, a clear but very chilly New Year was forecast in Delhi Tuesday. "The New Year's dawn will be equally cold, but the fog cover will be shallow," said an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official.
"The maximum and minimum temperatures are expected to hover around 17 and 5 degrees Celsius and chilly winds will continue to leave Delhiites shivering," the IMD official added.
A freezing, misty morning gave way to a sunny, pleasant Monday. But much of the traditional New Year's eve enthusiasm was missing in the capital. wrapped in a sombre mood after the death of its 23-year-old gang-rape victim.
The maximum and minimum humidity were recorded at 100 and 66 percent respectively.
"This December, the foggy weather conditions have been mostly normal. Dense fog was recorded on Dec 23, 25 and 31," the IMD official said.
According to Northern Railway, the thick fog cover in north India has thrown train schedules totally out of gear.
"Twenty-four trains are running behind schedule and 13 have been cancelled. The train services were severely hit today (Monday) owing to the dense fog in many parts of north India," a Northern Railway statement said.
However, flights in the national capital have not been affected so much by fog this year - thanks to the CAT-III system set up at the Delhi airport runways to help aircrafts operate even in low visibility conditions.
Sunday's maximum temperature settled four notches below average at 17 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature was 7.7 degrees Celsius, which is average for this time of the year.