New Delhi, January 17, 2024 – The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a chilling update forecasting the continuation of very dense fog conditions across North India until January 21, along with severe cold wave conditions. This announcement comes in the wake of Delhi Airport reporting delays in flight operations, affecting approximately 120 flights.
According to the Delhi Airport Flight Information Display System (FIDS), both domestic and international arrivals and departures have been significantly impacted due to the dense fog that engulfed the region on Wednesday. A total of 53 flights, comprising 21 domestic arrivals, 16 domestic departures, 13 international departures, and 3 international arrivals, have been canceled due to fog and operational reasons.
The ripple effect of the severe weather conditions extends to train services in Delhi, with several trains experiencing delays amid poor visibility at the New Delhi Railway Station.
IMD Forecast Highlights:
- North India: Very dense fog conditions are expected to prevail until January 21, affecting Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and north Madhya Pradesh.
- Other Regions: Dense fog conditions are likely in isolated pockets of Bihar, north Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu division, Gangetic West Bengal, and Odisha during specific periods.
- A rise of about 2°C in minimum temperatures is expected over Northwest India in the next two days.
- East India may experience a 2-4°C rise in minimum temperatures over the next four days.
- No significant temperature changes are anticipated in the rest of the country for the next five days.
Aviation Minister’s Action Plan:
In response to the disruptions caused by the dense fog, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has unveiled a six-point action plan to mitigate the impact on domestic and international flights. The plan includes new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued to airlines, ‘war rooms’ at all six metros to address passenger issues promptly, and increased Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) manpower at airports around the clock.
Additionally, Runway 29L at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has been made CAT III operational to handle take-offs and departures during dense fog scenarios. Runway 10/28, with CAT III status, is set to become operational soon after undergoing maintenance.
Minister Scindia urged passengers to bear with the authorities during this challenging period and emphasized the ministry’s commitment to enhancing communication and passenger facilitation.
In conclusion, with the severe cold wave and dense fog conditions persisting, travelers are advised to stay informed about the status of their flights and train services, and exercise patience during this period of weather-induced disruptions.