New Delhi: Intense cold wave on Wednesday swept across large parts of north India, including Uttar Pradesh where a sexagenarian died, with the weather remaining dry even as fog disrupted road and rail traffic in a few areas.
In the national capital, the mercury plummeted with the minimum temperature settling at 6.4 degrees Celsius, a fall of over three notches from yesterday. The maximum too registered a sharp fall from yesterday's 20.7 degrees and settled at 13.1 degrees Celsius, seven notches below normal.
Early morning fog continued to disrupt rail services with the operations of 55 north-bound trains including the Rajdhani Expresses coming from Patna, Kolkata and Dibrugarh getting affected. Flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport were, however, normal in the morning hours.
One person died due to intense cold in Uttar Pradesh where dry weather conditions prevailed. Sixty-year-old Jagmal, a resident of Muzaffarnagar district, died yesterday after icy winds from the northern parts of the country resulted in a drop of minimum temperature.
According to the MeT department, temperatures dipped markedly in Allahabad and Meerut divisions, and the state's lowest minimum was 1.8 degrees Celsius recorded at Naziabad.
Cold wave conditions persisted in Punjab and Haryana too, with thick fog in parts of the two states affecting road and rail traffic. Ludhiana was coldest in the two states and reeled under 4.8 degrees Celsius.
Amritsar's low settled at 5.6 degrees while Patiala shivered under 6.3 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in Chandigarh was recorded at 5.8 degrees Celsius while Ambala's low settled at 6.3 degrees. Minimum at Karnal and Narnaul were recorded at 4.8 and 6.3 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Meanwhile, cold wave tightened its grip on the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region as minimum temperatures dipped further below the freezing point with Kargil being the coldest recorded place in the state.
Kargil, in the frontier Ladakh region, registered a low of minus 16.0 degrees Celsius, a fall of three notches from minus 13.0 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Leh, also in Ladakh region, recorded a minimum of minus 10.9 degrees Celsius, down by over three notches from the previous night's minus 7.5.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, saw a low of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius, a drop of over a degree from the previous night's minus 1.4 degrees Celsius.
Qazigund, the gateway town to the Kashmir Valley in south, recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius. The mercury in Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir registered a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, a drop of over two degrees from the previous night's minus 3.2 degree Celsius.
The minimum temperature in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg settled at minus 4.0 degrees. The Kashmir Valley is currently under the grip of "Chillai-Kalan" -- the 40-day harshest winter period, which began on December 21.
The chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent during this period and the weather remains cold as the day temperature also dips drastically, freezing most of the water bodies including the famous Dal Lake.
Intense cold wave sweeping Himachal Pradesh continued unabated in the region as minimum temperatures stayed below 4.0 degrees Celsius across the state. The tribal areas groaned under biting cold wave conditions with the mercury settling 12 to 22 degrees below normal.
Keylong, Kalpa and Manali recorded a low of minus 8.1, minus 2.8 and minus 1.6 degrees Celsius respectively, followed by Dharamsala 3.4 and Shimla 4.0 degrees Celsius.
Thick ground frost occurred in mid and higher hills while fog engulfed the lower hills and foot hills, disrupting road traffic in the morning hours.
Maximum temperatures, however, rose marginally and Una and Bhuntar recorded a high of 18.2 degrees, followed by Nahan 15.8, Solan 15.5, Dharamsala 14.6, Shimla 12.6, Manali 11.0 and Kalpa 6.0 degrees Celsius.
There was, however, some respite from cold wave conditions in Rajasthan as the state witnessed a rise in temperature even as the popular hill station Mount Abu remained coldest place here with a minimum of 4.2 degrees.
The temperature has risen at all places in the state by one to four degrees as a bright sun and clear sky greeted the people in the morning.
In the plains, Sikar recorded a minimum of 6.5 degrees Celsius, followed by Churu 7.1, Pilani 7.6, Udaipur 8.0, Jaipur 8.6, Ganganagar 8.1, Jodhpur 9.0, Jaisalmer 10.2, Barmer 11.4, and Ajmer 12 degrees Celsius.