SHIMLA/SRINAGAR/CHANDIGARH/LUCKNOW/DELHI: Following a wet spell and snowfall at several places, cold wave conditions intensified across North India on Tuesday. Parts of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir received a fresh spell of snow due to Western Disturbances leading to a sudden dip in temperatures, said the India Meteorological Department.
Several high altitude areas in Jammu and Kashmir experienced heavy snowfall while plains were lashed by incessant rains. This led to the closure of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway -- the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country. The MeT Office has forecast widespread rain and snow over the state with heavy falls at isolated places till Tuesday.
At a low of minus 14.0 degrees Celsius, Kargil was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir. This was followed by Drass town which recorded a low of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius.
Mercury dropped to minus 0.6 degree Celsius north Kashmir's Kupwara town. Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, while south Kashmir's Pahalgam tourist resort recorded a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius. Leh, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in Kargil registered a low of minus 14.0 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in Srinagar Sunday night settled at minus 0.3 degree Celsius, same as previous night, a MET official said.
Similar intense cold wave conditions prevailed in Himachal Pradesh. “Snowfall was received in the higher reaches and rains in lower hills,” the MeT department said. On Monday, Lahaul and Spiti's Keylong received 18 cm of snow, Dalhousie 10 cm, Kalpa 6.4 cm, Pooh and Sangla 4 cm each, and one cm at Kufri. Sundernagar, Bhuntar, Dharamshala, Nahan, Palampur, Solan, Manali, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Chamba, Amb and Tissa received 0.6 to 6 mm of rain. Lowest temperature of 4.2 degrees Celsius was recorded at Kalpa, followed by 6.1 degrees Celsius in Kufri, 6.2 degrees Celsius in Dalhousie, 8.2 degrees Celsius in Manali and 12.1 degrees Celsius in the state capital Shimla.
Heavy rain and snowfall are likely in Shimla, Mandi, Kullu, Kinnaur, Chamba, Kangra, Lahaul and Spiti district in the next three days, Director Shimla MeT centre Manmohan Singh said.
In Punjab and Haryana too, cold wave continued to prevail, despite a rise in minimum temperatures, a Meteorological (MeT) official said. Punjab's Gurdaspur was the coldest place in the region with 4.8 degrees Celsius, he said. In Chandigarh, temperatures were recorded at 10.9 degrees Celsius, five degrees above the normal.
There is a forecast of widespread rains in most parts of Punjab and Haryana Monday and Tuesday, said the weatherman.