Skies clear over North India; mercury sees slight slide

Light showers continued on Saturday in parts of northern India bringing down the mercury.

Updated: Jan 19, 2013, 19:23 PM IST

New Delhi: Light showers continued on Saturday in parts of northern India bringing down the mercury while Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand heaved a sigh of relief as weather conditions improved after days of heavy snowfall.

Himachal Pradesh, however, was lashed by heavy rains and snowfall, which has broken a five-year record in capital Shimla, bringing life to a standstill in the hill state.

Residents of Delhi woke up to a bright, sunny morning after rain and hailstorm yesterday with the minimum temperature settling at 7.3 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the year.

The maximum temperature was recorded a notch below normal at 18.9 degrees Celsius with the MeT department forecast indicating mainly clear skies and normal temperatures tomorrow.

Kashmir saw improved weather conditions following a bout of heavy snowing as the 294-km Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was reopened in the afternoon today after remaining closed to traffic for two days owing to heavy snowfall. Air services were also expected to resume shortly, official sources said.

According to the MeT office, Kashmir Valley, including Srinagar, experienced snowfall of between four inches to eight feet over the past three days with temperature in the summer capital dropping to 0.2 degrees Celsius.

Himachal Pradesh though continued to be lashed by rainfall and snow, leaving several parts of the state, including capital Shimla and the tourist resorts of Manali, Narkanda and Sangla cut off while the Hindustan-Tibet and Kiratpur-Manali National Highways remained closed to traffic.

No buses left or arrived in Shimla after 6 pm yesterday as the roads were blocked due to heavy snowfall although partial traffic to Shimla and Manali was restored in the afternoon.

Trees were uprooted in Shimla, disrupting power supply in many areas of the town including at the CM’s official residence and the state secretariat.

Shimla, which recorded a low of 3 degrees Celsius, has received 100cm snowfall over the past three days, the heaviest since 2007 with trees, rooftops, houses and roads covered under a thick blanket of snow.

There was light to moderate showers in parts of Uttar Pradesh where Muzaffarnagar received 3cm rainfall with the MeT department.

There was chill in the air in Punjab and Haryana where the mercury dipped below normal a day after the states were hit by moderate to heavy rains.

Chandigarh recorded a low of 6.9 degrees Celsius while, in Haryana, Hisar experienced a cold night at 4.6 degrees Celsius after being lashed by heavy rains.

Light rains brought the mercury down a few notches in Rajasthan where Sri Ganganagar had the lowest recorded temperature at 2.7 degrees Celsius.

The MeT department said that a few places in the state had received light showers ranging between 0.3mm to 9.3mm and added that the weather would continue to be the same in the coming 24 hours.