New Delhi, Jan 13 (Agencies): It was a warm day for Delhiites on Thursday as day temperature spiralled four degrees above normal to touch 24.6 degrees Celsius, the third highest maximum in the past four years in the month of January.

The warm weather conditions would be short-lived, and mercury could dip over the weekend following snowfall in the Himalayan region and rains in the foothills, the weatherman said.

The day began with shallow fog reducing visibility to 400 metres early in the morning while the minimum rose to 5.3 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal, from yesterday's 3.9 degrees, the second lowest minimum for this season.

Thursday's maximum rose by 3.3 deg Celsius from Wednesday.
However, the weather office said the rise in temperatures would be seen for only a couple of days and mercury would drop again over the weekend.

"If the wind condition remains calm, there could be recurrence of fog and if it is windy cold conditions would prevail," Ajit Tyagi, Director General India Meteorological Department said.

Last year, the maximum had touched 28 degrees on January 30 while in 2009, the day temperature had risen to 25.4 degrees Celsius on the 27th of the month. In 2008, the maximum was 28 degrees Celsius on January nine.

Tomorrow could be warmer with the Weatherman predicting that the temperature might rise up to 25 degrees Celsius. The minimum could also rise to eight degrees Celsius.

Tyagi attributed the rising temperatures to an extra-tropical weather system active over north-western region.

"This weather system would bring snowfall to the Himalayan region and rains at the foothills," he said adding that the temperatures in the northern region would dip again.

Below normal weather conditions are expected to continue till the first week of February with another spell of warm weather around January 21.

Though on Wednesday morning was the second chilliest of the season, the sun had come out later in the day to cause a let up as the maximum rose to 21.3 degrees Celsius, which is normal for this time of the season.

The reprieve from the extreme cold weather conditions is expected to continue for another day with the weather officials predicting that the temperature will be between a maximum of 19 deg C and a minimum of 7 degrees.

A fog cover had descended on the capital around 11 pm, last night and the visibility dropped to around 400 metres at 3 am but it did not have any effect on air traffic operations at the IGI airport here.