New Delhi: People across North India continue to face intense cold and harsh weather conditions with minimum temperature dipping to 4.6 in the national capital and over 100 deaths being reported from Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the maximum temperature in Delhi was recorded at 9.8 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature was 4.8 degrees, two notches below normal.
For three-four days, the mercury continues to hover around 4 degrees Celsius - the season`s lowest minimum recorded.
The Metrological department has predicted that this spell of bone-chilling cold would continue for most part of the week, and there are good chances that fog may reappear.
The extremely harsh weather conditions coupled with icy winds and depleted sunshine have forced people to cover themselves with caps, mufflers, gloves and long coats while moving out.
Visibility on the main runways at the Indira Gandhi International Airport was around 50 metres on Wednesday. More than 30 flights were delayed. Seven flights were cancelled. A flight from Hong Kong was diverted to Mumbai.
The entire North Indian region is shivering due to intense cold wave, which has claimed 15 more lives in Uttar Pradesh, taking the death toll over 100.
As per UP government officials, four people died in Muzaffarnagar which remained the coldest place with 0.6 degrees Celsius, followed by three in Mathura, two each in Agra, Bulandshahr, Etah and one each in Barabanki and Mirzapur.
The cold wave is spreading over Rajasthan too, where Churu district was the coldest at 1.6 degrees. In Jaipur, government and private schools till class eight, have been told to shut down till January 12. And the classes for students from 9th standard to 12th standard will begin only at 10am.
The cold wave yesterday pulled temperatures way below zero in Kashmir and Himachal and the dense fog hit air, train and road traffic in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.
A Met Department official in mountainous Jammu and Kashmir said minimum temperature fell to minus 3.9 degrees in Srinagar, minus 7.7 degrees in Pahalgam and minus 9.2 degrees in Gulmarg.
But the coldest town was Leh at minus 16.2 degrees Celsius. Kargil recorded minus 14.8 degrees.
The conditions would only get worse Thursday before an improvement in night temperatures from Friday.
Himachal Pradesh, the other mountainous state, was sunny but the cold was biting.
Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti was the coldest place in the state with minimum temperature at minus 8.9 degrees Celsius, a Met official said.
Kalpa in Kinnaur district saw a low of minus 3.6 degrees and Manali minus three degrees. Dharamsala was 4.6 degrees.
The minimum temperature was 2.1 degrees Celsius in state capital Shimla, down from Tuesday`s 4.8 degrees.
The weather would remain dry till Saturday, said the official.
Despite a sunny day, the plains of Uttar Pradesh too continued to reel under extreme cold wave conditions.
Banda, Sonebhadra, Bhadohi, Rampur and Etawah were worst-hit by the cold wave with day temperatures slipping down to around 17 degrees Celsius and night temperatures hovering between four and five degrees.
In state capital Lucknow, the lowest temperature since Tuesday was 4.3 degrees while the maximum was 17 degrees.
The onset of north-westerly winds was likely to bring back the chill, a Met official said.
Rail, road and air traffic continued to be hit by fog and more than a dozen trains were running hours behind schedule.
In Haryana, Narnaul recorded 2.4 degrees Celsius, making it the coldest place in the region.
Dense fog prevailed over Punjab and Haryana hitting road, rail and air traffic at most places.
Chandigarh recorded a high of 11.3 and low of 4.2 degrees Celsius while Bhiwani and Hisar in Haryana recorded lows of 3.6 and 4 degrees Celsius.
Punjab`s Patiala town recorded a low of 5.5 degrees Celsius while Amritsar and Ludhiana were at 7.2 and seven degrees Celsius.
With Agency Inputs