North shivers under chilly spell; fog hits rail, air traffic

Northern India was on Friday reeling under winter's chilly onslaught with the region also hit by dense fog that threw rail and flight schedules into disarray.

North shivers under chilly spell; fog hits rail, air traffic

New Delhi: Northern India was on Friday reeling under winter's chilly onslaught with the region also hit by dense fog that threw rail and flight schedules into disarray.

Residents in the national capital woke up to icy winds sweeping the city today even as fog delayed 52 trains. The maximum temperature was recorded four notches below the season's average at 16.3 degrees Celsius while the minimum settled a notch below normal at 6.8 degrees.

The minimum yesterday was recorded at 7.2 degrees.

According to Northern Railways, 52 trains, almost all of them north-bound ones, including premier trains like Rajdhani and Duronto Express, were delayed by several hours due to adverse conditions.

However, flight operations remained smooth at Delhi airport, officials said.

Jammu and Kashmir was grappling with the biting cold wave even as Kargil, in the frontier Ladakh region, continued to be the coldest recorded place in the state, registering the lowest temperature of the season so far at -17.2 degrees, down from the -16.6 degrees the night before.

Leh, also in the Ladakh region, recorded a minimum of -16.2 degrees, slightly down from the -16 degrees yesterday. Srinagar, the summer capital of J-K, recorded a low of -4.2 degrees, same as that on the previous night.

Weather officials have said that a fresh western disturbance is likely to affect the state from Jan. 12 which could result in isolated to scattered rainfall or thundershowers. The weather would remain dry and cold over J-K till then, they added.

Uttar Pradesh was hit by dense fog which affected the movement of air, train and vehicular traffic even as a cold wave swept the state.

Fog formation was reported widely in UP and cold conditions prevailed at isolated areas in its eastern parts and at a few places in the western parts. The mercury fell in the Kanpur and Jhansi divisions while the lowest temperature recorded in the state was 4.2 degrees at Hamirpur.

Fog affected air traffic with at least four flights being delayed at the Amausi airport in Lucknow, a spokesman said.

As per a railway spokesman, several trains were running behind schedule due to the fog.

In Rajasthan, dense fog in the north-eastern parts of the

state continued to affect rail and road services while the mercury plummeted at many places.

Poor visibility led to 27 trains being delayed, which were anything between 20 minutes and eight hours late. Two trains also had to be rescheduled.

Mount Abu recorded the lowest minimum in Rajasthan at 3.5 degrees, which was about three degrees lower than the normal. Jaipur was engulfed in fog this morning and recorded a low of 6.6 degrees.

Fresh cold winds approaching from north India would further cause a dip in temperatures with fog likely at some places in the western districts of the state in the coming 24 hours, the weatherman said.

Cold weather conditions also prevailed in Punjab and Haryana with a thick blanket of fog engulfing most places across the two neighbouring states, hitting rail and road transport.

Dense fog across Punjab and Haryana reduced visibility to below 50-m with fog also affecting rail and air traffic to and from the Union Territory of Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states.

Amritsar recorded the lowest temperature for the two states with a minimum of 3 degrees while Narnaul in Haryana witnessed a low of 5 degrees.

Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh saw no significant change in the minimum temperatures, which hovered around freezing point at most places across the hill state.

The high-altitude tribal areas shivered under temperatures recorded 15 to 22 degrees below freezing point and all natural sources of water, including lakes, springs, rivulets and tributaries of major rivers, have been frozen for the past two months, drastically reducing the discharge of water in the snow-fed rivers.

Thick ground frost was witnessed in the middle and higher hills while dense fog engulfed the lower hills and foothills, hampering vehicular traffic in the morning hours.

The weather office has predicted dry weather in the state over the coming four days with the possibility of light snow or rainfall in the higher hills on January 13 and 14.