New Delhi: The north remained in the grip of cold conditions on Sunday with dense fog affecting rail and air traffic in the region even as Uttar Pradesh announced that school for students up to Std XII in the state would be shut till Jan. 14 in view of the chilly weather.
Rain and snowfall has been forecast in parts of northern India in the coming days with the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh likely to face inclement weather.
As the north shivers under the wintry spell, a pale winter sun during the day and a drop in the mercury meant there was no relief from the cold today in Delhi.
The minimum in the national capital settled at 6.6 degrees Celsius, a notch below normal, while the maximum was recorded at 16 degrees, a drop of five points from the season's average.
According to a Northern Railway official, a thick fog cover in the morning also delayed 51 north-bound trains as visibility stood at less than 800-m.
In the higher reaches, the Valley of Kashmir did see a small rise in the mercury even though it continued to grapple with the winter chill.
Kargil, in the Ladakh region, was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir with a low of -13 degrees, which was up three degrees from the low of -16 degrees the night before.
Srinagar, the summer capital of J&K, saw the mercury settle at -2.2 degrees, up 2.6 degrees from the -4.8 degrees recorded the previous night.
In the plains, the intense cold wave threw life out of gear in Uttar Pradesh with temperatures falling at a number of places in the state where low visibility due to fog also claimed the lives of two students when their motorcycle collided with a truck in Jalaun district.
The fog also hit rail traffic and a number of trains were running several hours behind schedule.
Temperatures fell in the Varanasi, Lucknow and Bareilly divisions but changed little elsewhere. The lowest minimum in the state was recorded at 3.4 degrees in Lucknow.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the harsh weather, UP Principal Secretary (Secondary Education) Jitendra Kumar said that the state government has ordered closure of all schools and colleges under the department up to Class 12 till Jan. 14. Yesterday, UP government had ordered closure of schools up to Std VIII.