foggy winter morning in New Delhi
An aerial view of a foggy winter morning in New Delhi on Saturday. Image Credit: ANI

New Delhi: A thick blanket of fog choked the national capital on Sunday morning, disrupting traffic and shrouding the city in a bone-chilling cold. The minimum temperature plummeted to 7 degrees Celsius in RK Puram, marking the season's coldest day so far.

Amid the unforgiving conditions, people on the streets and the homeless sought refuge in government-run night shelters. These shelters offer a haven for those with nowhere else to go, providing essential amenities like blankets, beds, hot water, and food.

Friday marked Delhi's first official cold wave day, with temperatures dipping below 4 degrees Celsius as defined by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The agency issued a stark warning for travelers facing the treacherous conditions:

• Very dense fog: Enveloping Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, North Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. Highway users must drive with extreme caution and utilize fog lights only.

• Visibility near zero: Reported in multiple cities including Amritsar, Chandigarh, Patiala, Ambala, Ganganagar, Palam, Safdarjung, and Lucknow since 2:30 AM IST. Journeys should be postponed until the fog lifts, especially on expressways.

The Met agency predicts the dense fog to linger in isolated pockets of northwest India for the next 3-4 days. With visibility expected to remain low, Delhi Police urged motorists to exercise caution on the roads.

"The Meteorological Department, Delhi, has forecast dense to very dense fog on January 14, 2024, and dense fog on January 15 & 16, 2024. We appeal to all to drive carefully in the fog," the police department tweeted.

The thick fog not only disrupted everyday life but also impacted air travel. Flights, including Vistara's Delhi-to-Pune flight, experienced delays exceeding an hour.