Cold Kills More Than 100 in Northern India

By Jillian MacMath, Staff Writer
January 4, 2013; 6:04 AM ET
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More than 114 people have died in Uttar Pradesh in Northern India and the neighboring national capital district of Delhi-New Delhi as a result of recent below-normal temperatures.

The high in Delhi on Wednesday was only 50 degrees F, a stark contrast to the normal Jan. 2 high of 71 degrees.

The low dropped to 41 degrees, nearly 7 degrees F below normal for Jan 2.

"Temperature near 40 degrees is not normally thought of as deadly," Expert Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.

"However, for anyone lacking shelter, especially those without access to proper diet and clothing, prolonged exposure to temperatures in the 40s can lead to hypothermia, even death. The situation for the homeless would have been made all the worse by the lack of warming sunshine by day in areas of stubborn fog and low clouds," he said.

The formation of fog and low clouds at night, with a delayed breakup of the two come daytime has kept temperatures low.

"Cold spells of this kind, cold being relative, do happen in many years across northern India, when sun angle is near its low, because the weather is normally dominated by high pressure," Andrews said.

Away from the area of persistent fog and low cloud, daytime temperatures were significantly higher, though average daily temperatures continue to fall a few degrees below normal.

Content contributed by Expert Senior Meteorologist Jim Andrews.


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