New Delhi: Winter intensified its grip over north India on Thursday with hilly areas of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh reeling under freezing cold and thick fog affecting normal life in vast swathes of the plains.
Delhiites today woke up to a foggy morning with minimum temperature settling at 7.4 degrees Celsius. The maximum in Delhi settled three notches below normal at 19.6 degrees.
Cold conditions prevailed at several places in Punjab and Haryana, where heavy blanket of fog affected road traffic for the second day today.
Amritsar reeled under intense cold, recording a minimum temperature of 2.4 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal. Ludhiana and Patiala registered minimum temperatures of 8.8 and 8.4 degrees Celsius respectively.
Chandigarh, which recorded a low of 8 degrees Celsius, was enveloped in thick fog this morning. In Haryana, Narnaul was the coldest, where the minimum stood at 3 degrees Celsius. Hisar recorded a low of 4 degrees.
Heavy foggy conditions affected normal lives in Rajasthan where around a dozen trains trains were delayed.
The body of a unidentified middle-aged man was found in Jalupura area here this morning, police said, adding that the post-mortem reports would reveal whether the man was a victim of cold.
State capital Jaipur experienced the lowest temperature of the season at 5.4 degrees Celsius last night, according to the MeT department. Mount Abu maintained its temperature at 1 degrees Celsius, while Churu plains recorded a minimum of 3.1 degrees Celsius followed by 3.2 degrees Celsius in Udaipur.
Fog occurred at a few places over Uttar Pradesh as the mercury dipped in the state in the last 24 hours with Muzaffarnagar and Agra recording a lowest of 4.7 degrees.
Meanwhile, Leh and Kargil, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded the lowest temperatures of the season so far with the mercury plunging more than 14 degrees below the freezing point as Kashmir division continued to experience sub-zero nights.
The minimum temperature in Leh fell to bone-chilling minus 14.6 degrees Celsius, over a degree further down from the previous night's minus 13.0 degrees Celsius. Leh was the coldest place recorded in the state.
Kargil, in Ladakh region, was the second coldest place recording a low of minus 14.4 degrees. According to a MeT official, both Leh and Kargil experienced the coldest night of the season so far.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir,
registered a minimum temperature of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius as against the previous night's minus 4.0 degrees Celsius.
The famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as a base camp during the annual Amarnath yatra, was the coldest recorded place in the Valley with a low of minus 6.6 degrees, as against 6.8 degrees the previous night.
Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir and the star attraction for tourists visiting the Valley during winter, recorded a minimum of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius, compared to the previous night's minus 3.0 degrees Celsius.
Piercing cold wave conditions also continued unabated in most parts of Himachal Pradesh despite marginal rise in day temperature while?key tourist resorts of Kullu and Manali remained without electricity, water and other services for the sixth day today making the winter unbearable for local people.
As many as 295 roads were still closed and Kullu district was affected with heavy snowfall blocking 200 roads in the interiors. However, the Kullu-Manali Highway, which was opened for single lane traffic yesterday, was opened from Left Bank of?Beas also this afternoon.
High altitude?tribal areas groaned under sub-zero temperatures with minimum temperature staying?between minus 15 and minus 22 degrees Celsius, while Keylong, Manali and Kalpa recorded?a low of minus 11.2 degrees, minus 4.0 degrees and minus 3.0 degrees.
Bhuntar, Sundernagar, Una, Chamba and Solan reeled under sub-zero temperature with minimum temperatures at minus 1.4, minus 0.1, 1.0,1.2, and 1.5 degrees Celsius respectively, while Palampur recorded minimum temperature?at 3.5, followed by Dharamsala 4.2 and Shimla and Nahan 6.1 degrees Celsius.
The situation has started limping back to normalcy in other parts of the state and?only two dozen roads were closed in Rohroo, two in Rampur area and 48 in Mandi?region and Public Works department is hoping to open all the roads in next three says.
Day temperatures rose marginally by one to three degrees and Solan was warmest during the day with a high of 20.0 degrees, followed by Sundernagar 18.9, Nahan?18.2, Shimla 17.4 and Dharamshala 14.4 degrees Celsius.