New Delhi: Northern India shivered in the intense cold on Tuesday with snowfall and rain hitting the region where fog returned to affect normal life at several places.
In Delhi, fog disrupted operations at IGI Airport where over a dozen flights were delayed this morning.
Three flights had to be diverted as the pilots were not trained to land aircraft in visibility of less than 200 metres, airport sources said.
However, there was no suspension of flight operations due to fog, an airport official added.
Temperatures in the national capital stayed by and large within the normal range today with the minimum recorded at 8.5 degrees Celsius, one degree above normal.
The maximum was at 19.7 degrees, two notches below normal.
Intermittent snowfall continued in the higher reaches of Kashmir for the third day today while showers lashed the lower areas, including Srinagar, which received 1.8mm rainfall. The mercury settled at a low of 0.6 degrees in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, as against -0.4 degrees the night before.
The ski resort of Gulmarg received around 12.2mm snowfall and registered a minimum of -9.2 degrees.
Pahalgam hill resort got 18mm snow and saw the mercury settle at a low of -3.0 degrees, an increase of one degree from -4.0 degrees the previous night.
Leh, in Ladakh, remained the coldest place in J-K with a low of -8.9 degrees.
Piercing cold wave conditions persisted in Himachal Pradesh with the mercury hovering around freezing point at many places even as the weather cleared in the state and bright sunshine greeted the people.
Four persons, who were caught in a blizzard and stranded for the past three days at Rakshi Dhank, 5km from Rohtang Pass, were rescued today. The four survivors, whose vehicle was buried under almost six feet of snow, had a miraculous escape.
As the cold tightened its grip, the mercury dipped to -8.2 degrees at Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti while Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of -4.2 degrees.
Water pipes were frozen at many places in Shimla and surrounding areas while the formation of thick ground frost in the morning hours hampered vehicular traffic.
Meanwhile, a thick blanket of fog across Punjab and Haryana this morning threw normal life out of gear even as minimum temperatures dipped further across the two neighbouring states.
Fog considerably reduced visibility at several places like Chandigarh, Ambala, Karnal, Hisar, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar.
Narnaul in Haryana was the coldest place across the two states with a minimum of 3.3 degrees, a drop by four notches.
In Punjab, Amritsar recorded a low of 4.2 degrees while Ludhiana and Patiala registered minimums of 7.6 and 7 degrees, respectively. Chandigarh recorded the mercury at a low of 8.4 degrees.
In Rajasthan, the mercury dropped further in some areas with Mount Abu recording the coldest temperature in the state at 2.4 degrees.
Bikaner, Sriganganagar, Jaisalmer, Jaipur and Barmer recorded minimums of 4.9, 5.9, 6, 7.3 and 7.5 degrees, respectively.
Fog also created adverse conditions in Uttar Pradesh where the minimum dipped appreciably in many parts of the state.
Temperatures fell in the Varanasi, Allahabad, Agra and Meerut divisions but rose in the Gorakhpur and Faizabad divisions. The lowest temperature recorded in the state was 6 degrees at Muzaffarnagar.
In Lucknow, the district administration has ordered closure of all schools up to Std VIII till January 10 in view of the cold wave. School for students in higher classes is to start only at 9 am or after.