Slight respite from biting cold in north on New Year

 The New Year brought slight respite from the biting cold wave conditions prevailing in north India for the past few days, even though fog continued to disrupt road and rail traffic.

New Delhi: The New Year brought slight respite from the biting cold wave conditions prevailing in north India for the past few days, even though fog continued to disrupt road and rail traffic.

Delhiites woke up to a pleasant morning with the minimum temperature settling at 8.8 degrees Celsius, a notch above normal.

Flight operations at the Indira Gandhi airport here were smooth, though as many as services of 58 trains were affected in the region, which witnessed moderate fog.

According to a Northern Railway official, "as many as 36 trains were running behind the schedule, 15 cancelled and seven of them rescheduled".

In the neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, where moderate rains occurred at some places, a 30-year-old man died due to cold in Lalitpur district.

Gokul Sahariya, had gone to irrigate his field in the night and was found dead this morning, police said.

Light rains occurred at some places in the state where minimum temperatures rose in Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Agra Varanasi, Faizabad, Bareilly, Jhansi and Meerut divisions.

Meanwhile, mercury plummeted in Kashmir Valley today after a slight respite for few days, dropping further below the freezing point with Kargil recording a new low of minus 15.8 degrees Celsius this season.

The MeT officials said that the Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir, which serves as a base-camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, registered a minimum temperature of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius, a down by almost four degrees from the previous night's minus 3.5 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg settled at minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, slightly down from the previous night's minus 3.2 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg was the centre of the New Year celebrations in the Valley with tourists and locals thronging the resort for the annual event which marks the advent of the new year amid snow.

However, there was some disappointment as there has been no fresh snowfall since December 23.

In the desert state of Rajasthan, night temperature increased marginally in various parts of the state bringing some respite from the cold even though the movement of trains was affected to due to foggy conditions.

Light rainfall occurred in some areas of the Rajasthan including Kota, Udaipur, Rawatbhata and Vanasthali, the MeT officials said.

While Sriganganagar recorded a minimum temperature of 3.2 degrees Celsius, Sikar's low settled at 4 degrees C.

Churu's low was recorded at 4.3 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature in Pilani was 5.5 degrees Celsius.

The new year also brought some relief to the people of Punjab and Haryana from the biting cold wave condition, which abated today in most parts of the two states.

In Haryana, Bhiwani registered a low of 9 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal while Hisar's low settled at 6.2 degrees Celsius, up by one notch.

Karnal and Narnual recorded a minimum temperature at 7 degrees Celsius each, while Ambala's low settled at 7.5 degree Celsius, all above normal minimum temperatures.

In Punjab, Patiala recorded a low of 7.8 degrees Celsius, two notches up while Ludhiana's low settled at 6.8 degrees Celsius.

Amritsar recorded a minimum temperature of 4.6 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal level.

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