North India Battles Severe Cold as Mercury Plummets Several Notches

Dense fog and cold wave conditions are predicted at most places in the national capital today.

New Delhi: Biting cold conditions gripped parts of north and north-west India as mercury plummeted several notches with cities and towns reporting maximum temperatures below 20° Celsius and dense fog engulfing large tracts in Punjab and Haryana while Kashmir reeled under deep freeze.

Cold wave sweeps Delhi

The mercury plunged to a minimum of 5.3°C in the national capital on December 25, and made a slow climb as the day progressed to settle at a maximum of 16.2°C, a departure of five degrees from the normal temperature for the day.

Later, the minimum temperature dropped to 3°C in the Ridge area, the India Meteorological Department said. At 4.9°C below normal, it was the coldest place in the capital.

The Aya Nagar weather station recorded a minimum temperature of 3.5°C – 4.5 notches below normal.

Dense fog and cold wave conditions are predicted at most places in the city on Monday.

Kashmir goes below freezing point

In the Kashmir Valley, cold conditions further intensified as the minimum temperature dipped several degrees below the freezing point and many places experienced the season’s coldest night, officials said.

The intense cold conditions led to freezing of water supply lines in many areas as well as the freezing of the interiors of the Dal Lake, they said.

The minimum temperature in Srinagar settled at -5.8°C – down from -5.4°C Thursday night. The city experienced its coldest night so far this season.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district recorded a low of -5.6°C.

Cold wave conditions across states

Chandigarh reported a maximum temperature of 11.1°C, Ambala 11°C (9 degrees below normal), Hisar 10.2°C (-11.8 degrees), Amritsar 12.9°C (-7.1 degrees), Ganganagar 10.3°C (-11.7 degrees), Bareilly 15.4°C (-6.6 degrees), the weather office said.

Most of the stations of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi and adjoining west Uttar Pradesh and northwest Rajasthan reported decreasing 24-hour tendencies up to 6°C, it said.

Schools in Bihar’s capital of Patna will remain closed for students up to Class 8 till December 31, the news agency ANI has reported.

The weather office said the cold wave conditions are expected to prevail for the next two days and abate thereafter.

Dense fog conditions were likely to continue over Punjab, Haryana and north Rajasthan till December 27 and gradually decrease thereafter.

Temperature dipped in parts of Rajasthan where Sikar with 0.5°C was recorded as the coldest place.

Karauli shivered at 0.7°C while the night temperature was 1.7°C in Nagaur, 2.5°C in Churu, 3.4°C Celsius in Bikaner, 3.9°C in Pilani (Jhunjhunu), 4°C in Alwar, 4.7°C in Vanasthali (Tonk), 5°C in Bhilwara, 5.3°C in Anta (Baran) and 5.6°C in Sriganganagar.

The weather office has forecast isolated snowfall over the Western Himalayan region under the influence of a western disturbance, an extra-tropical weather system that originates in the Mediterranean sea.

Another western disturbance is likely to visit the western Himalayan region on the night of December 29, bringing isolated to scattered rainfall/snowfall to the region, it said.

(With PTI inputs)