Dense fog cover disrupted air and rail services in New Delhi with around 55 trains and 13 flights delayed on Tuesday morning as visibility dropped to less than 50 metre in many parts of the city..
Flight operations are affected when visibility drops below 200 metre. The Delhi IGI Airport reported zero visibility since 2:30am, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials.
As a result, many passengers at the airport were stranded for over three to four hours. At least two domestic flights were also cancelled. The lag created in the morning is likely to affect operations throughout the day.
This is the third episode of blinding fog in the national capital this season, according to IMD officials. Earlier, fog had disrupted services on December 2 and 14. The MeT department expects moderate fog over the next two days.
According to railway officials, 55 inbound trains were delayed on Tuesday, 22 trains were rescheduled and five trains cancelled. Two trains scheduled for Wednesday have also been cancelled.
The fog intensified with the onset of weaker, moisture-rich easterly winds brought on by the passage of a western disturbance in northern regions of India. These winds increase the humidity in the area, which when combined with lower temperatures, creates fog, according to officials at the Regional Weather Forecasting Centre.
Temperatures dropped to 9.5 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, which is approximately two degrees above the normal average, and is not expected to peak over 25 degrees Celsius during the course of the day.