North Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand had a ‘White Christmas’ on Sunday as they received the season’s first snowfall which coupled with rain pulled down the mercury in northern region, including Delhi, even as dense fog led to accidents in Uttar Pradesh which claimed at least seven lives.
The dry spell of weather continued in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir with most of the state reeling under sub-zero temperatures, while rains in Haryana and Punjab brought down the mercury in the region.
In HP, Shimla and its surrounding areas received slight traces of snowfall before showers lashed the region, while the adjoining tourist resorts of Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda had light snowing.
This is the first time after 25 years, that Himachal received snowfall on Christmas day, officials said.
Kalpa in Kinaur district received 7 cm of snow while Kufri and Narkanda had 2 cm and 5 cm of snow, respectively. Shimla had 1 cm rains, while Solan, Kangra and Dharamsala received 6 mm, 2 mm and 5 mm of rains, respectively.
The sky remained heavily overcast with high velocity chilly winds sweeping the region, causing drop in mercury.
Uttarakhand’s hills received the season’s first snowfall on Christmas while the lower areas were lashed by moderate showers causing a sharp dip in temperatures across the state.
Places located above 3,000 metres in state’s Chamoli, Rudraprayag and Uttarkashi districts including the four Himalayan shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath received the season’s first snowfall even as the plains including Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar and adjoining areas were swept by icy winds and light drizzle.
Yamunotri, Gangotri, Harkidoon, Radi and Baukh Dibba were also lashed by heavy snowfall, their first spell this winter.
Delhi remained enveloped in layer of shallow fog until the afternoon, with the minimum temperature being recorded at 11.5 degrees Celsius, while the maximum plunged drastically to settle at 15.4 degrees Celsius as against 24 degrees Celsius on Saturday.
Low visibility caused delay in services of 80 trains and rescheduling of 20 others, although flight operations were normal at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Rain lashed some parts of Punjab and Haryana even as the minimum temperature rose by several notches above normal in both the north Indian states, whose joint capital Chandigarh recorded a rainfall of 8.9 mm and a minimum temperature of 12.9 degrees Celsius.