The northern plains continued to reel under intense cold conditions as mercury dipped below freezing point at some places in Rajasthan and Haryana while Delhi experienced the coldest day of the season on Wednesday. The mercury went further down the freezing point by several degrees across Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region with some places registering the lowest night temperature of the season.
In the national capital, Safdarjung observatory, the figure of which is considered official for the city, recorded a minimum temperature of 4 degrees Celsius, three notches below normal, while Lodhi Road recorded a minimum of 2.3 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature was 17.2 degrees Celsius, three notches below season's average at Safdarjung.
As many as 11 north-bound trains were cancelled while 26 were delayed due to fog, a senior railway official said. However, flight operations were normal except minor delays. Cold conditions aggravated in parts of Rajasthan where mercury dipped below freezing point at three places and the night temperatures plummeted across the state. Mercury dipped to minus 2.4 degrees Celsius at Mount Abu, the sole hill station of the state.
In the plains, Churu was the coldest in the state recording a minimum of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius followed by 0.5 degrees Celsius in Alwar and 1 degree Celsius in Bhilwara. Cold conditions also tightened its grip on Punjab and Haryana and icy winds swept many parts of both the states despite bright sunshine in the morning.
Narnaul in Haryana, which was the coldest, shivered at minus 0.5 degree Celsius, five notches below normal, a MeT department official said. Amritsar in Punjab shivered at 0.9 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal while Ludhiana and Patiala recorded their lows at 1.6 degrees Celsius and 2.7 degrees Celsius respectively. In Haryana, Ambala braved cold weather at 4.4 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal while Hisar witnessed bone-chilling cold at 2.4 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal.
A MeT official said the mercury in Pahalgam hill resort, in south Kashmir, went down by over six degrees from the previous night's minus 6.2 degrees Celsius to settle at the season's low of minus 12.4 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature at the resort was three-year low in the month of January.
Gulmarg the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir also recorded the season's lowest night temperature as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 13 degrees Celsius. The resort was the coldest place in the Valley and it was the lowest night temperature there in the month of January since 2012, the MeT official said. Leh town, in Ladakh region, was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir as it shivered at a low of minus 16 degrees Celsius.
This was the season's lowest night temperature in the town, he said. The nearby Kargil town also recorded the coldest night of the season so far as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 14 degrees Celsius. Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' considered the harshest period of winter, when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
Intense cold conditions continue unabated in most parts of Himachal Pradesh as upper Shimla, Kinnaur and tribal Lahaul and Pangi valleys remain cut off for sixth day today. Water and power supply remain disrupted in Shimla town which experienced the coldest night of the season with minimum temperature dipping to minus 3.3 degrees Celsius. In Manali, the minimum temperature dipped to minus 6.6 degrees Celsius.
Fresh snowfall occurred at isolated places. Bharmaur, Kothi and Manali received 10 cm, 8 cm and 6 cm of snow respectively. Kalpa and Shimla received 5 cm and 2 cm of snow respectively. In Bihar, the weather remained comfortable in Patna which registered a minimum temperature of 10.4 degrees Celsius, while in Gaya it was 11.1 degrees Celsius.
(Feature image source: Reuters)