New Delhi: Many areas in the higher reaches of Kashmir received fresh snowfall while plains experienced intermittent rains as cold continued its grip over parts of north India, with Leh shivering at a low of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius.
Fresh snowfall in parts of the higher reaches of Kashmir, including at Peer Ki Gali on Mughal Road in Shopian, Sonamarg, Amarnath Cave Shrine, Razdan Pass, Sadhna Top and Gurez and intermittent rains in plains, broke the long dry spell in the region.
The hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as the base camp for annual Amarnath Yatra, received light snowfall and there was an improvement of four notches in the minimum temperature which settled at minus 1.9 degrees Celsius, an official of the MeT Department said.
Most of the areas in the plains, including summer capital Srinagar, experienced intermittent rains, the official said.
The mercury in Srinagar rose over four notches from the previous night's of minus 3.3 degrees Celsius to settle at a low of 1 degree Celsius, he said, adding the minimum stayed above the freezing point for the first time in several nights.
Meanwhile in Delhi, chilly morning failed to dampen the spirit of people who thronged the majestic Rajpath to be part of the 67th Republic Day celebrations. The maximum temperature settled at 21.2 degrees Celsius, a notch below the normal while the minimum temperature was recorded at 6.8 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season's average, a Met Department official said.
Leh, however, experienced a relatively warmer day as the minimum temperature yesterday there was recorded at minus 14.7 degrees Celsius, a Jammu and Kashmir MeT official said.
The night temperature in Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley also went up from minus 3.9 degrees Celsius the previous night to settle at a low of minus 2.3 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir, the star attraction for tourists visiting the Valley during winter, went up from minus 4.5 degrees Celsius to settle at minus 2.6 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir recorded the minimum of minus 3.1 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in Kokernag, in south, settled at a low of 1.6 degrees Celsius, he said. The official said the data for Kargil was not available.
The Meteorological Department has said there is possibility of isolated rains in the plains and snowfall in the higher reaches over the next three days. After the three days, there are chances of widespread rains or snowfall for two days on January 29 or 30.
The Valley is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' the 40-day harshest winter period. 'Chillai-Kalan', which began on December 21 and ends on January 31, is the period of winter when the chances of snowfall are usually most frequent and maximum.
Meanwhile, cold wave conditions continued to persist across Punjab and Haryana today, with Amritsar reeling at 2.6 degrees Celsius. In Rajasthan, there was no let up in the cold wave condition since January 15 as people in Pilani shivered at the lowest temperature of 4.3 degrees Celsius last night, and dense fog disrupted normal life and vehicular traffic in north-east of the state, a MeT official said today.
Dense fog appeared in north eastern region of Rajasthan covering Alwar, Bharatpur, Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh, Bikaner, and parts of Jaipur district, and rail and road services were affected. North Western Railway's eleven trains were running late from 1 hr 15 mins to 10 hrs 30 mins, its CRPRO Tarun Jain said.
Jammu Tawai-Ajmer train is running 10 hrs 30 mins late, followed by Lucknow-Jaipur train by 7 hr 55 mins, Howrah-Jodhpur/Bikaner train by 5 hrs 10 mins, and Sealdah- Ajmer train by 5 hrs. Whereas Ajmer-Jammu Tawai train is rescheduled.
Mount Abu, a sole hill station, recorded minimum of 4 degrees Celsius. Sriganganagar at 4.9 degree Celsius followed by Sikar 5.0, Churu 5.4, Udaipur 5.8, Jaisalmer 6.4, Tonk and Chittorgarh 6.8 each, Bundi 7.5, Bikaner 7.6, Jodhpur 8.4, Jaipur 10, and Ajmer at 10.2 degrees Celsius.