Shimla: Biting cold wave conditions sweeping across the tribal areas and other higher hills of Himachal Pradesh further intensified today as the mercury dropped by four to five degrees in tribal areas and hovered around the freezing point in mid and lower hills.
Keylong in tribal Lahaul and Spiti district and Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of minus 12.2 and minus 5.0 degrees Celsius respectively, while Manali reeled under biting cold wave conditions with a minimum temperature of minus 3.2 degrees, followed by Sundernagar 0.4, Bhuntar 1.0, Una 1.4, Solan 1.5, Shimla 1.7, Palampur 3.5, Dharamsala 4.2, and Nahan 8.7 degrees Celsius.
The high altitude tribal areas groaned under arctic conditions with night temperature staying between minus 16 and minus 24 degrees Celsius.
All natural sources of water including lakes, springs, rivulets and tributaries of major rivers were frozen for the past ten weeks, causing sharp fall in discharge of water in snow-fed Sutlej, Ravi and Beas rivers.
Hydropower generation has dropped to 40 per cent and the state is purchasing 700 MW electricity to meet the increased demand of power during the winters.
However, day temperatures rose by a few notches and Una recorded a high of 23.5 degrees Celsius while Sundernagar and Nahan recorded maximum temperatures at 20.5 and 18.3 degrees, followed by Solan and Bhuntar 18.0, Dharamsala 15.2, Shimla 12.4, Manali 10.6, and Kalpa 6.4 degrees Celsius.
The local MeT office has predicted dry weather in the region over the next four days and light rains or snow at isolated places from January 20 onwards.