New Delhi: Freezing winds, fog and rains threw normal life out of gear in plains of North India on Thursday while Kashmir Valley and higher parts of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh witnessed fresh snowfall, setting tone for more wintry conditions.
Delhi and parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan were lashed by rains in the last 24 hours.
People of the national capital today woke up to rain. The city got 3 mm of rain till 11:30 AM, according to Meteorological department.
Foggy conditions continued to hit train operations as 37 trains including several premier north-bound trains like Rajdhani and Duranto were running late by several hours.
However, flight operations remained more or less unaffected as visibility was 600 meters at 8:30 AM.
After the rains, the maximum temperature settled eight notches below the season's average at 13.2 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature settled three notches above normal at 11 degrees.
Most parts of Kashmir Valley received snowfall and Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic due to bad weather.
From tomorrow, there will be one way traffic on the 434-km arterial highway, which is the only road link which connects the Valley to the rest of the country.
"There was snowfall in many areas in Kashmir Valley with Gulmarg receiving 1.5 feet of snow during the night," a spokesman of the Met department said in Srinagar.
The famous south Kashmir hill resort of Pahalgam, which also serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded 8 cm of snow, the spokesman said, adding that it registered a low of zero degree Celsius.
Srinagar recorded a low of 1.8 degree Celsius, he said.
Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley in south, received 2 cm snow and it recorded a low of 0.2 degrees.
Leh was the coldest recorded place in the state with a low of minus 6.2 degrees.
Icy winds swept the whole Uttarakhand and fresh snowfall was witnessed in higher reaches of the hill districts of Chamoli, Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag and showers in the plains.
Badrinath, Hemkund Sahib, Gorson grassland, Nandadevi, Valley of Flowers National Park and Kedarnath Deer Park have been receiving snowfall since morning, Chamoli Disaster Management officer N N Joshi said.
Gangotri, Harshil, Taknor, Barshu, Dayara, Yamunotri and Kharsali in Uttarkashi district have also received fresh snowfall.
The Union Home Ministry had recently predicted snow avalanches in areas located above 2,500 metres in the hill state from January 21-23.
All precautionary measures have been taken and the situation is under control in residential areas, Joshi said.