Cold tightens grip in N-India; fog engulfs many states

Cold conditions intensified in parts of N India and dense fog engulfed many states as mercury plummeted by up to three notches in Punjab.

Updated: Dec 26, 2009, 00:13 AM IST

New Delhi: Cold conditions intensified in
parts of north India today and dense fog engulfed many states
as mercury plummeted by up to three notches in Punjab even as
Leh and Kargil districts were freezing below minus 18 degrees

Foggy conditions prevailed in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab,
Haryana and Uttarakhand.

Most parts of Jammu and Kashmir continued to reel under
intense cold as the night temperature dropped further owing to
clear skies.

Leh and Kargil districts in the cold desert of Ladakh
were freezing at minus 19 and minus 18 degrees Celsius,
respectively, Met office said. The two places also registered
a dip in the day temperature which settled at minus 2 in Leh
and minus 4 in Kargil.

In Kashmir valley, the famous hill resort of Pahalgam
was the coldest place with a low of minus 7.6 degrees.

In the plains of Punjab and Haryana, Amritsar was
coldest with a low of 1.4 degrees, three notches below normal.
While Rohtak shivered at a low of 3.2 degrees, three notches
below normal, Ambala registered 3.8 degrees, also three units
below normal.

The ongoing spell of cold conditions have so far claimed
three lives, including two in Bathinda and one at Yamuna Nagar
in the past one week, officials in Punjab said.

Normal life was affected as mercury dipped to one degree
at the hill resort of Mount Abu in Rajasthan last night. Upper
air layer of famous Nakki Lake in Mount Abu showed thin frost
in the wee hours today.

Dry weather and clear sky would further aggravate cold
conditions in the state in the coming weekend, a Met
department forecast said.

The national capital continued to reel under cold wave
even as the mercury rose slightly to settle at 7.4 degrees.

The minimum temperature yesterday was 6.1 degrees, which was
the season`s lowest so far. Today`s minimum is one degree
below normal for this point of the season.

Shallow fog reduced the visibility to 500 m at 7.30 am.

Himachal Pradesh witnessed a sunny day with a
temperature of 14.1 degree Celsius in comparison to 12.7
degrees yesterday. Night temperature in Shimla, however, was
2.6 degrees. Lower areas elsewhere in the state also witnessed
a marginal rise in mercury. But, high reaches areas of the
hill state remained under grip of intense cold.

Keylong, headquarters of high altitude Lahaul-Spiti,
remained the coldest with night temperature recorded at minus
13.2 degrees.

Other high hills areas like Kalpa in Kinnaur district
recorded night temperature of minus 4 degrees while it was
minus 1.4 degrees in Bhuntar in Kullu district.

Dry cold conditions continued in Uttarakhand with a
bright sunny day. But the night temperature fell by an average
of 2 notches below normal in most of the places with Dehradun
recording the temperature at 5 degrees.

A large number of tourists, however, gathered to enjoy
the Christmas celebrations at various areas like hill resorts
of Mussoorie and Nainital.

The summer capital J-K, Srinagar, also recorded the
season`s low of minus 4.9 -- three degrees below normal.
However, the day temperature in the city showed further
improvement and settled a 10.2 degrees Celsius.

Kupwara in North and Qazigund in South registered a
minimum of minus 5 degrees Celsius each, while Kokernag was
slightly better at minus 4.1 degrees Celsius.

Jammu region also witnessed a decline in the night
temperature. The Jammu city recorded a low of 4.7 degrees
Celsius, registering a dip of over two degrees since

However, the day temperature was 20.8 degrees Celsius.