New Delhi: Mild rains in vast swathes of north India on Friday brought down day temperatures substantially while a fresh bout of snowfall occurred in hills of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, further intensifying the cold wave conditions.
In the national capital, day temperatures plummeted by 5.6 degrees to settle at 16 degrees Celsius, five notches below the season's average, after mild rain. According to MeT officials, 5.6 mm rainfall was recorded in Delhi.
A chilly morning, however, greeted Delhiites even as the minimum temperature rose by 2.2 degrees from yesterday, settling three notches above the season's average at 10.2 degrees Celsius due to overcast conditions.
Around 42 trains were affected in the region due to ripple effect of delays due to fog in the past few days, though flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here were smooth.
Similar weather conditions prevailed in Rajasthan, where day temperatures dipped by six to seven degrees Celsius in many places after rain. Day temperatures at many places settled between 14 and 16 degrees Celsius.
Minimum temperatures, however, recorded marginal rise with Sriganganagar being the coldest recorded place at 7.5 degrees. Churu, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Jaipur and Ajmer also recorded above normal night temperatures at 9.2, 9.8, 8.6, 11.4 and 11.8 deg Celsius, respectively.
In view of the prevailing cold conditions, the state government has authorised district collectors to announce or extend holidays in schools.
Meanwhile, the higher reaches of Uttarakhand received snowfall while the plains were lashed by rains, with the sudden change in weather leading to a drop in temperature making people shiver.
Mountainous areas of both Garhwal and Kumaon regions including Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Auli, Munsyari and Dharchula have been receiving snowfall since morning whereas plains including Dehradun, Nainital, Almora, Chamoli and Haldwani are being lashed by showers.
Cold wave conditions intensified further across Himachal Pradesh after higher reaches of Kinnaur, Sirmaur and Shimla witnessed another spell of moderate snowfall while the mid and lower hills received rains accompanied by icy winds.
Day temperatures dropped by four to seven degrees Celsius while minimum temperatures hovered around freezing point in various parts of the state. The upper areas of state capital Shimla had mild snowfall while the mid town witnessed traces of snow, followed by rains. Shimla received 9 mm of rains while, Jakoo peak had 2 cm of fresh snow.
Temperatures also dipped in the Kashmir Valley after some
respite for a few days. Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, down from the previous night's minus 4.8 degrees.
Srinagar had witnessed the season's coldest night on December 27 when the mercury dropped to minus 5.6 degrees.
Leh and Kargil in the frontier Ladakh region recorded the season's coldest night. The minimum temperature in Leh settled at minus 17.1 degrees Celsius, down by over two degrees from the previous night's minus 14.8 degrees. The minimum in Kargil stood at minus 16.1 degrees Celsius.
Parts of many water bodies, including the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar, were frozen due to biting cold, which also led to freezing of water taps and developing of a thin layer of frost on roads. The mercury in Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley in south, settled at a low of minus 5.2 degrees.
High altitude tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh reeled under arctic conditions with mercury dipping to 16 degrees to 24 degrees below freezing point while Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti recorded a low of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius, followed by Manali minus 2.6, Kalpa and Bhuntar 0.4, Sundernagar 1.2, Una 2.7, Solan 3.8, Dharamsala 4.6, Shimla 5.2, Palampur 5.5, and Nahan 6.6 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, there was slight respite from cold in Punjab and Haryana as the minimum temperatures increased at several places even as some parts of the two states were lashed by light rains.
Some places in Haryana falling in the National Capital Region, including Gurgaon and Faridabad, received light rains.
Chandigarh recorded a minimum temperature of 8.6 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal, he said.
In Haryana, Bhiwani's low settled at 11 degrees Celsius, three notches up while Hisar recorded a minimum temperature of 9.4 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal.
In Punjab, Patiala's low was recorded at 8.6 degrees Celsius, three notches up, while the night temperature in Ludhiana was recorded at 6.8 degrees Celsius.
However, minimum temperature in Amritsar dipped by over a degree and was recorded at 3.1 degrees Celsius.