Cold eases marginally in North on New Year

Cold wave, gripping north India, relented marginally with mercury inching upwards on the first day of 2012.

New Delhi: Cold wave, gripping north India,
relented marginally with mercury inching upwards on the first
day of 2012 even as rains drenched several parts of the region
ushering in a wet New Year.

Kashmir Valley, however, reeled under the bone-chilling
cold as summer capital Srinagar and scenic Gulmarg froze in
sub-zero temperatures, the MeT Dept said.

Tourists and locals witnessed a white New Year in parts
of Himachal Pradesh as Kufri, Fagu, Wild Flower Hall and
Narkanda received snowflakes in the early hours.

Snowfall, however, eluded state capital Shimla to the
utter disappointment of thousands of tourists who had thronged
the city.

Delhiites woke up to clear skies as the minimum
temperature rose to 8.4 deg C, up by a notch while the maximum
settled at 19.5 degrees, the MeT office said.

The city received light rains in some areas in the
evening, it said.

Minimum temperatures rose by a few notches in several
parts of the north, including Punjab and Haryana, providing
slight relief to the people from the bitter cold which has so
far claimed 135 lives across the country this winter.

Holy town Amritsar, where severe chill had persisted
during the past few days, registered a low of 2.8 deg C, which
was within the normal range.

Temperatures rose in other parts of Punjab where Ludhiana
and Patiala recorded respective lows of five deg C and six deg
C, both the readings a degree above normal.

In Haryana, Ambala recorded a low of 6.8 deg C, up by a
notch. Hisar had a low of 6.1 deg C, also up by a degree.
Karnal`s low rose by two notches to settle at 7.3 deg C, the
weather office said.

Thundershowers drenched large parts of Uttar Pradesh with
Fatehgarh and Hamirpur each receiving three cms of rains, the
MeT Dept said.

Aligarh and Taj City Agra each recorded two cms of rains
as hailstorms were reported from some parts of the state.
Etawah was the coldest zone in the state recording a low of
4.1 degrees Celsius.