Cold wave prevails in North; over 60 trains cancelled

Cold wave coupled with dense fog affected normal life in most parts of North India on Friday.

New Delhi: Cold wave coupled with dense fog affected normal life in most parts of North India on Friday as the mercury dipped in many areas including Delhi and rail services were hit in the region with cancellation of over 60 trains.

After over a fortnight, Delhiites too feel nip in the air as dense fog cover greeted them on a wintry morning.

The minimum temperature was recorded at 9.6 degrees Celsius, while maximum was 15.6 degrees Celsius, a MeT official said. Both minimum and maximum dropped by about four degrees.

As many as 10 Delhi-bound trains, including Magadh Express, Bikramshila Express and Poorva Express, were reportedly running late while 64 trains were cancelled. Flight operations, however, were normal at IGI Airport here.

Mercury dipped in most parts of Kashmir Valley while the minimum temperature rose by six degrees in Leh town in the frontier Ladakh region to settle at minus 7.4 degrees Celsius.

Kargil was the coldest place in the Valley though night temperature also rose there slightly to minus 12.0 degrees Celsius, an official of the Meteorological Department said.

The minimum temperatures also increased in Pahalgam and Qazigund, while other places experienced a drop in the mercury. Srinagar recorded a low of minus 3.1 degrees Celsius against minus 2.9 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said.

The famous tourist resort of Pahalgam registered a low of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in Gulmarg and Kokernag town in south Kashmir went down by around a degree to settle at a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius and minus 1.3 degrees Celsius respectively.

There was a slight drop in mercury in Kupwara town of north Kashmir as it registered a low of minus 2.6 degrees Celsius, the official said. Cold conditions also prevailed in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan with mercury dropping by few notches.

The Meteorological Department has predicted mainly dry weather for most part of Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day harshest winter period ending January 31. It said Kashmir may witness a dry January like the last year with less chances of snowfall during the remaining days of the month.

Owing to the dry weather, the minimum temperature in the Valley has mostly hovered below the freezing point and resulted in increase in common ailments. Moderate to shallow fog enveloped parts of Punjab and Haryana too, adversely affecting rail and road traffic in the region, even as the minimum temperatures hovered above normal.

Visibility was reduced in the morning due to fog and the MeT department has forecast similar conditions during the next 48 hours. Chandigarh, Ambala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Narnaul, Rohtak and Hisar were among the areas which had foggy conditions in the morning.

However, the minimum temperatures hovered between two to five degrees celsius above normal for this time of the season, the MeT office said.

While Amritsar had a low of 6.6 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal, the minimum at Chandigarh was 6.9 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal. Among other places in the region, Narnaul settled at a low of 9.5 degrees Celsius, followed by 10.7 degrees Celsius at Ludhiana, 11 degrees Celsius each at Ambala and Patiala, 11.6 degrees Celsius at Karnal, and 12 degrees Celsius at Hisar.

In Rajasthan too cold weather conditions revived as mercury further dipped with Pilani shivering at 5.5 degrees, a MeT official said. Fog engulfed north-eastern parts of the state including Alwar, Bharatpur, Srigangangar, Bikaner, Hanumangarh reducing visibility level on roads, he said.

As many as nine trains were running late from 35 min to 2 hr 50 min, North Western Railway's CPRO Tarun Jain said.

Mount Abu on hills recorded minimum of 6.4 degree C followed by Churu 6.8, Sikar 7, Bikaner 7.3, and Jaipur 8 degree celsius.

No major change in the weather is predicted in the next 24 hours in the state, the forecast said.