Cold wave sweeps higher reaches of northern India
The mercury registered a sharp slide overnight at several places in northern India, especially in the hilly areas which were grappling with a burst of cold weather amidst snowfall and icy winds.
New Delhi: The mercury registered a sharp slide overnight at several places in northern India, especially in the hilly areas which were grappling with a burst of cold weather amidst snowfall and icy winds.
But the fog posed no serious disruptions in surface or air traffic in the region although some trains were running slightly behind schedule due to low visibility.
In the plains, Delhi continued to enjoy tolerably milder weather with temperatures staying by and large within the normal range.
Thus, while the minimum in the national capital was 11.6 degrees Celsius as against 10.8 degrees yesterday, the maximum settled at 19.7 degrees where it had been 22.4 degrees the day before.
Up north, the cold wave tightened its grip on Kashmir Valley, where the mercury dropped considerably, while the upper reaches of Gulmarg and Pahalgam resorts received fresh snowfall.
"Around 1.2cm snowfall was recorded in Gulmarg while Pahalgam received 1.6cm snow last night," a MeT official said.
The minimum in Srinagar registered a decrease by almost 3 notches to settle at -3 degrees Celsius as against the previous night`s -0.4 degrees.
Gulmarg recorded a dip of over 4 degrees with the mercury settling at a low of -7 degrees. The minimum there stood at -2.6 degrees the previous night.
Although the minimum at Leh, in the frontier region of Ladakh, rose by a notch to settle at -11.2 degrees, together with the nearby Kargil (-12.2 degrees), the twin towns were the coldest recorded places in J-K.
Punjab and Haryana were facing a fog problem with many trains running late while temperatures registered a rise in the two neighbouring states.
A thick blanket of fog enveloped the cities of Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Phagwara, Hisar, Narnaul, Ambala and Karnal, greatly reducing visibility.
Rail traffic was hit at Chandigarh railway station with several trains running late due to fog. Chandigarh also recorded the coldest temperature in the region at 6.4 degrees.
The MeT office, in its forecast, has said that dense fog would continue in Punjab and Haryana even though the weather will remain dry.
A further dip in temperatures was reported in Rajasthan
where Mount Abu, the sole hill station in the desert state, recorded a minimum of 2.4 degrees.
Jaisalmer, Barmer, Ajmer, Sriganganagar, Jodhpur and Bikaner recorded minimums of 7.8, 8.2, 8.7, 9, 9.4 and 10 degrees, respectively.
Rajasthan, too, experienced disruptions in rail and vehicular traffic due to fog although flights operated smoothly.
The cold worsened in Himachal Pradesh with the higher reaches of the state witnessing another spell of snowfall.
High altitude tribal areas and mountain passes like Rohtang and Kunzam got another spell of fresh show while the mercury plunged in the lower hills amidst icy, strong velocity winds sweeping the region.
Keylong and Kalpa in the Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts recorded minimums of -7.1 and -5.0 degrees, respectively, while Manali recorded a low of -2.6 degrees. State capital Shimla saw the minimum settle at 2.1 degrees.
The weatherman has predicted rain, snowfall and thunderstorms at several places in the lower, middle and higher hills of the state from December 21 onwards.