New Delhi: Cold conditions intensified in north India on Saturday as Shimla and some other popular tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh received the season's first snowfall while several areas in other states experienced light showers.
In Delhi, chilly conditions prevailed as the sky remained overcast and scattered rains occurred in some parts of the city which was swept by cold winds.
After recording the season's lowest so far yesterday at 5.1 degrees Celsius, the minimum settled two notches above the season's average at 10.4 degrees Celsius though the wind chill factor made life difficult for Delhiites.
The maximum temperature was recorded two notches below the normal at 20.8 degrees Celsius.
Humidity in air oscillated between 88 and 51 per cent.
In Himachal Pradesh, state capital Shimla and key tourist resorts of Manali, Narkanda, Kalpa and?Sangla received first snowfall of the season, while mid and lower hills were lashed by widespread rains, breaking the prolonged dry spell.
People in Jakoo area of Shimla experienced first snowfall of the season while heavy rains lashed the main town which recorded 20 cms of rainfall.
Manali, Kaza, Kalpa and Khara-Patthar received 10 to 15 cms of snow while Rohtang Pass, Kunzam Pass, Dhauladhar ranges in Kangra and Churdhar ranges in Sirmaur experienced?20 to 30 cms of snow.
High-altitude tribal areas and other higher reaches in the state also experienced another spell of moderate snowfall.
The?rains and snow caused sharp fall in mercury and the maximum day temperatures dropped by eight to twelve degrees in the state.
About 400 vehicles, including some buses, were stranded between Rohtang Pass and Solang Nallah due to snow and stranded tourists were trying to reach Manali on foot with the help of rescue teams. Vehicular traffic on Hindustan-Tibet National High was also hampered due to snow at Narkanda and Kufri but normal traffic was restored after few hours.
Kargil district in Jammu and Kashmir recorded a low of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius, even as some parts of the state got some relief from the intense cold conditions.
Leh registered a minimum of minus 9.4 degrees Celsius while nearby Kargil town recorded a low of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius becoming the coldest recorded place in the state, local MET department officials said.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of 0.5 degrees Celsius.
The night temperature in Srinagar appreciated to remain
above the freezing point for the first time in weeks, even as other places in the Valley and Ladakh region continued to experience sub-zero nights.
Many parts in Punjab and Haryana received first showers of the season, breaking the dry spell of winter in the region.
Chandigarh, Phagwara, Hisar and Bhiwani and some other places received light rainfall due to western disturbances.
Several parts of the two states remained overcast with minimum temperatures hovering close to normal limits.
Light rains accompanied by thundershowers occurred at few places in Uttar Pradesh as well with Shahjahanpur recording the lowest minimum of 3.1 degrees Celsius in the state.
Temperature rose largely in Lucknow division, markedly in Faizabad, Allahabad, Kanpur, Agra, Meerut divisions, appreciably in Gorakhpur, Varanasi and Jhansi divisions, rose in Moradabad division and changed little in Bareilly division.
Rain showers were reported in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining areas which brought down the temperature considerably.
Meanwhile, night temperature increased marginally in parts of Rajasthan where Sriganganagar was the coldest place at 6.11 degrees Celsius.
Mount Abu recorded a low of 8 degrees Celsius whereas the night temperature in Dabok, Jaisalmer, Pilani, Churu and Barmer was 8.8, 9.2, 9.5, 9.8 and 11 degrees Celsius respectively.
Light rainfall occurred at isolated areas in Kota divisions due to a western disturbance, while the weather remained cloudy in the state capital.