Mercury dips in higher reaches, fog sweeps plains of north
Temperatures plummeted further in the hilly areas of northern India on Sunday even as fog affected normal life at several places in the plains under the unrelenting cold wave sweeping the region.
Delhi woke up to a shallow fog cover in the morning although the conditions cleared as the day progressed.
The minimum in the national capital was recorded at 6.3 degrees Celsius, a notch below normal, while the maximum settled within the normal range at 20.6 degrees.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar recorded a minimum of -3.0 degrees, a drop by over two notches from the -0.3 degrees recorded there the night before.
Leh in Ladakh experienced its coldest night of the season, recording the lowest minimum in the state at -18.9 degrees after having shivered at -15.6 degrees the previous night.
The mercury in Kargil dipped by over six degrees from the previous night’s -9.0 degrees to settle at a low of -16.6 degrees.
Meanwhile, the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, which connects the Valley to the rest of the country, was on Sunday reopened to traffic after having remained closed for two days due to snowfall.
Traffic on the 294-km arterial road was stopped on Friday following snowfall in the areas around Jawahar Tunnel.
‘The highway has been reopened and vehicles are being allowed to ply from Srinagar towards Jammu,’ a traffic official said. The weather in the Valley has remained dry for the last 24 hours.
The intense cold wave continued in most parts of Himachal Pradesh as the mercury stayed close to freezing point at several places across the state.
The higher reaches and tribal areas of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Pangi and Bharmaur received another spell of mild snowfall, further adding to the miserable weather conditions.
The minimum dipped to -13 degrees at Bharmaur while Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti registered a low of -12.8 degrees as against the -8.7 degrees recorded there on Saturday.
Although bright sunshine greeted the people in Shimla and other lower hills in the morning, the sky became heavily overcast as the day advanced.
Thick fog engulfed the towns lying on river banks in the morning while ground frost occurred in the middle and higher hills.
Lower down, a thick blanket of fog disrupted normal life at many places across Punjab and Haryana where there was no let up in the biting cold.
Fog affected visibility this morning at Amritsar, Patiala and Ludhiana in Punjab and at Ambala, Karnal and Kurukshetra in Haryana.
Amritsar in Punjab recorded the lowest temperature across the two neighbouring states at 0.4 degrees, the same as yesterday, while Adampur in Jalandhar district registered a low of 0.5 degrees.
Hisar was the coldest place in Haryana at a low of 2.1 degrees while Narnaul’s minimum settled at 2.5 degrees.
Icy winds further aggravated the chilly conditions in Rajasthan where Mount Abu recorded the season’s lowest temperature at -2 degrees, about 7 notches below normal.
Six North Western Railway passenger trains were facing delays of up to seven hours due to fog and mist in the adjoining states of Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, an official said.
Light to moderate rain or thundershowers occurred at a few places in eastern Uttar Pradesh while the weather was mainly dry over the western parts of the state.
Maharajganj, Basti, Ghazipur and Kheri were hit by mild showers while the occurrence of fog was widespread in the state.
The lowest temperature recorded in the state was 4 degrees at Najibabad.