New Delhi/Srinagar: For those braving the winter chill in North India and other parts of the country, there’s some more bad news. Met officials have predicted that the cold spell is likely to persist till March due to the La Nina effect.
According to officials, below normal temperatures are likely to continue in February as well as March. The prediction has been made based on analysis of global climate models.
La Nina is a phenomenon which causes changes in global air circulation patterns and leads to weather extremes across the world. During the period of La Nina, surface temperatures in the South Pacific Ocean stay below normal.
La Nina, which in Spanish means `the girl`, usually aids good monsoon rains in India.
However, this time around weather experts say the phenomenon is likely to cause below-normal temperatures in India over the next two months.
Already, North India has witnessed unusually heavy snowfall which shows no signs of abating.
Several areas of Punjab this winter season received snowfall, first time in over four decades. Kangra in Himachal Pradesh witnessed snowfall for the first time in 67 years.
South India, which normally doesn’t experience cold weather, has seen at least 15 deaths so far due to an unprecedented cold wave.
Several parts in coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and in Telangana region experienced temperatures as low as 1 degree Celsius, something rarely recorded there.
Meanwhile, the national capital, New Delhi, recorded its second coldest day this year on Friday - the minimum temperature dropped to 12.8 degree Celsius. At 11 degree Celsius, January 9 was the coldest day of the season.
The minimum temperature recorded in Chandigarh was 5.7 degrees Celsius on Friday. Narnaul was the coldest in Haryana with a minimum of 1.5 degrees. In Punjab, Amritsar was the coldest at 2.5 degrees.
The minimum temperatures continued to dip in Jammu and Kashmir as well. The minimum temperature was minus 3.5 degrees Celsius in Srinagar on Friday, minus 7.8 in Pahalgam, minus 14.6 in Gulmarg and minus 16.8 in Leh town of Ladakh region.
Meanwhile, the famous Dal Lake continued to remain frozen in most parts.
Himachal Pradesh too saw no respite from cold weather with people in the mid- and high hills suffering in the sub-zero temperatures. State capital Shimla had mild snowfall and recorded a low of minus 1.9 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 4.2 degrees.
Keylong, the headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti, was the coldest in the state at minus 12.9 degrees.
(With agency inputs)