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Chilly weather in north, fog adds to woes

Chilly weather conditions prevailed across north India on Monday coupled with dense fog and scattered rain in some parts.

Chilly weather in north, fog adds to woes

New Delhi: Chilly weather conditions prevailed across north India on Monday coupled with dense fog and scattered rain in some parts.

Intermittent drizzle, however, failed to dampen the spirits of thousands of spectators who had gathered on both sides of the Rajpath in the capital to witness the Republic Day Parade, where US President Barack Obama was the Chief Guest, and at other similar event venues across the country.

In Delhi, the minimum temperature settled at 11.6 degrees Celsius which was three notches above normal for this part of the season while the maximum was 16.4 degrees, five notches below normal.

Humidity was recorded at 97 per cent at 8:30 AM.

Dense fog was witnessed in the morning which in addition to the overcast conditions and rains caused low visibility hitting rail operations. Railway officials said that while 33 north-bound trains were running late, two were cancelled.

Flight operations were already shut at the Indira Gandhi International Airport during the time of the Parade.

Icy winds and dense fog also affected road and rail services in Rajasthan, throwing normal life out of gear at several places even as people in Churu and Bikaner shivered under a minimum temperature of 4.4 degrees Celsius.

Participants at the state-level Republic Day Parade in capital city Jaipur experienced the coldest morning of the season with minimum temperature recorded at 10.2 degrees.

According to a MeT report, the mercury dipped by one to three degrees Celsius at many places of the state with the inflow of northerly chilly winds. Mount Abu, the sole hill region, recorded a minimum of 5 degrees Celsius.

Over 10 trains were running late by one to five hours due to fog, a North Western Railway spokesman said.

Kota received a maximum rainfall of 2.4 mm till this morning as intermittent and scattered rains continued in Hadauti region (Kota division). Elsewhere, the minimum temperature varied between 8 and 11.8 degrees Celsius.

In Punjab and Haryana too, biting cold conditions continued to sweep with fog adding to the winter woes. The minimum temperature at Hisar was recorded at 2.4 degrees Celsius while in Ludhiana it stood at 4 degrees. Amritsar's low settled at 5.2 degrees Celsius, while the minimum in Chandigarh was 8.6 degrees.

Meanwhile, the intense cold wave continued without any respite in Himachal Pradesh as minimum temperatures hovered around the freezing point and stayed below 5.0 degrees C at most places.

The sky remained partially overcast and strong velocity icy winds swept the region. The high altitude tribal areas groaned under freezing cold wave conditions with mercury staying between minus 16 and minus 23 degrees Celsius, while Kalpa and Keylong in tribal areas recorded a low of minus 6.6 and minus 5.7 degrees Celsius.

Key tourist resort of Manali recorded minimum temperature at minus 0.8 degree while Solan and Shimla shivered under piercing cold wave conditions with mercury hovering around freezing point at 0.6 and 1.3 degrees Celsius, respectively.

There was no significant change in maximum temperature except in Una which recorded a high of 18.2 degrees against 12.2 degrees yesterday. Solan recorded a maximum of 17.5 degrees, followed by Bhunter 16.0, Dharamsala?14.0, Manali 10.4, and Shimla 10.2 degrees Celsius.

Most parts of the Kashmir Valley, however, experienced bright and sunny morning today though the mercury continued to hover below the freezing point during the night.

"Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, and most other places in Kashmir Valley experienced warmer day yesterday as the sky remained clear and sun was comparatively bright. We are experiencing the same condition today and there would not be any major change in the weather for the next few days," a spokesman of the MeT Department said.

Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius compared to the previous night's minus 1.6. The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 7.0 degrees Celsius, against minus 7.6 degrees the previous night.

The south Kashmir hill resort of Pahalgam registered a minimum temperature of minus 3.6 degrees, over a degree down from the previous night's minus 2.2 degrees Celsius.

Kargil, in the frontier Ladakh region, continued to be the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir, with the mercury there settling at minus 14.4 degrees Celsius, down by over four degrees from minus 10.0 degrees the previous night.

Leh, also in Ladakh, recorded a low of minus 7.6 degrees Celsius, against minus 8.0 degrees Celsius yesterday.