The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast dense to very dense fog to continue across north Indian states till January 2. Cold day conditions have also been predicted to remain in parts of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, according to the IMD's morning bulletin.
The Met Department stated that fog conditions would not improve before January 2.
A red alert has been issued for fog in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi for today, and an orange alert for tomorrow. Punjab has been given an orange alert warning for December 31 as well. The IMD issued a yellow alert for fog across north Indian states till January 2.
These dense fog conditions have heavily impacted transport services, hitting flights and train operations that have been marred by multiple cancellations and delays. According to the latest updates by the Northern Railways, dozens of trains, including Rajdhani Express on the Delhi-Howrah route, are running between 10 and 12 hours late.
Flight operations have also been affected, with a few of them delayed.
Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 10.7 degrees Celsius on Friday, up from 8.4 degrees Celsius the preceding day. The IMD predicted the minimum temperature to hover around seven to eight degrees Celsius over the next five days. On Thursday, the national capital's maximum temperature was recorded at 21.4 degrees Celsius, one notch above normal.
Amid icy cold conditions, schools remain closed in Gautam Buddh Nagar - consisting of Noida and Greater Noida. The district administration ordered closure of schools for students for December 29 and 30. However, teachers and other staffers would work.
Visuals on social media showed people sleeping inside shelter homes in Delhi. A video shared by news agency ANI showed visibility almost completely reduced at Thursday midnight in areas around the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Conditions have, however, improved significantly now. Visibility at Delhi Airport was at 150 metres, with runways at a range of 400 metres to 800 metres, at the time of writing this report.
Meanwhile, at least six people were killed, and 12 others were injured in two separate road accidents in Uttar Pradesh due to reduced visibility on Thursday, police told news agency PTI. Earlier in the day, at least four people were killed and six injured in separate road crashes in Uttar Pradesh due to reduced visibility from dense fog.
In an advisory for dense fog, the Met department has asked drivers to use fog lights and travellers to stay updated on schedules of airlines, railways and state transport. "Exercise caution while driving or using any mode of transportation," the IMD said.