New Delhi: An upward surge of mercury in north India proved to be short-lived as temperatures dropped on Friday in several areas with fog throwing rail and flight schedules out of gear amid predictions of heavy rain and snowfall in the coming days.
A dense fog in the national capital today hit rail, road and air traffic and caused problems for commuters although Delhiites did not experience any drastic change in temperatures.
The maximum was recorded at 21.9 degrees Celsius, which is normal for this time of season while the minimum was one notch below normal at 7.6 degrees.
The fog, which had reduced visibility to less than 50 metres, affected operations at IGI airport for around five hours, delaying 130 flights along with 19 diversions and cancellations 19 each.
Foggy conditions also led to the cancellations of 10 trains and rescheduling of two others.
The cold was back after two days of rising temperatures in Kashmir Valley where the mercury dropped by as much as eight notches in Gulmarg.
According to the MeT office, the ski resort in north Kashmir which had recorded a low of -2 degrees the previous night was shivering at -10.6 degrees Celsius yesterday.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar was -1.4 degrees, lower by over two notches from 1.8 degrees Celsius the previous night.
There was no appreciable change in temperatures in Himachal Pradesh with the local MeT office issuing a fresh warning of heavy rain and snowfall from February 4 to February 6 on the back of a strong western disturbance which is to hit the western Himalayan region today.
The high altitude areas of the state groaned under the freezing cold with minimum temperatures recorded between -12 and -23 degrees Celsius.
The region experienced a clear but chilly morning although the sky got heavily overcast by afternoon, forcing people to stay indoors.
Punjab and Haryana saw minimum temperatures rising by up to two notches above normal today with fog disrupting normal life at places like Amritsar, Karnal, Ludhiana, Ambala and Patiala.
Chandigarh recorded a low of 8.5 degrees Celsius, which was up by two notches above normal although Hisar in Haryana saw the mercury drop two notches below normal to 5.4 degrees with the MeT office forecasting light rain at isolated places across both the states.
The weather in Uttar Pradesh was mainly dry with the minimum dropping in some parts of the state.
The mercury stayed below normal in the Kanpur and Moradabad divisions and the lowest recorded temperature in the state was 5.4 degrees Celsius at Najibabad.
The weather outlook for the coming week hinted at a possibility of rain and thundershower across western UP and at isolated places in the eastern parts of the state between February 4 to 6.
Meanwhile, in eastern India, the hills of Darjeeling today received the season`s first snowfall as temperatures at the famous tourist resort dipped to freezing point.
The temperature was hovering at around 3 degrees Celsius, the local MeT office said.