New Delhi: When was the last time winter in Delhi was as harsh and as long as this? This bone-rattling spell that began on New Year’s Eve hasn’t had a parallel since 1973 — the year since when continuous daily temperature records could be accessed and analysed.

For nine straight days since December 31, the capital hasn’t seen temperatures rise above 16 degrees Celsius and the minimum has remained below 6 degrees. Taking these two temperature limits as cutoff, TOI sifted through data for the past 40 years. No other unbroken spell of biting chill — both minimum and maximum temperatures staying this low — had sustained for as long as this, it was found.