Cold conditions persist in north India
New Delhi: Cold conditions persisted across north India on Saturday with many areas of Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh remaining snow-bound, throwing normal life out of gear.
An avalanche warning has been issued in middle and high hills of Himachal Pradesh for Sunday following widespread snowfall, while a spell of moderate to high-intensity snowfall is most likely across Kashmir Valley and upper reaches of Jammu region till Sunday night.
The national capital woke up to a cold morning with the minimum temperature settling at 5.8 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season's average. The maximum temperature was 19.9 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the year.
Delhi may witness moderate fog on Sunday with the minimum and maximum temperatures hovering around 7 degrees Celsius and 21 degrees Celsius respectively.
Most parts of Himachal Pradesh, including Kufri and Manali, continued to reel under sub-zero temperatures with the lowest in the state recorded in Lahaul and Spiti district's administrative centre Keylong at minus 14.3 degrees Celsius.
The state capital of Shimla registered a low of 3 degrees Celsius while in Dalhousie of Chamba district the mercury settled at 3.6 degrees Celsius.
According a State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) official 632 roads, including 448 in Shimla zone, remained blocked on Saturday evening. Around 440 machines, including 381 earth movers, 16 bulldozers and 43 tippers, were on the job to clear snow from the roads.
The SDMA also issued an avalanche warning in Kullu, Shimla, Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Chamba districts on Sunday.
A fresh orange warning of heavy rain and snowfall till January 17 has also been issued for the state. The colour-coded warnings are issued to alert the public ahead of severe or hazardous weather, which has the potential to cause "damage, widespread disruption or danger to life". Orange is for weather that has the capacity to cause significant impact.
In Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital Srinagar, the mercury went down by almost three notches from Friday's low of minus 1.9 degrees Celsius to settle at minus 5 degrees Celsius. The drop in the night temperature led to the freezing of the fringes of Dal Lake and other water bodies as well as water supply lines.
The minimum temperature at Gulmarg in north Kashmir was minus 12.6 degrees Celsius, slightly up from minus 13 degrees Celsius the previous day. Kupwara registered a low of minus 6.3 degrees Celsius.
Pahlagam in south Kashmir saw the minimum temperature rise slightly to minus 11.5 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 7.6 degrees in Qazigund, down from minus 3.4 degrees the previous night.
In Ladakh, the minimum temperature in Leh was minus 18.2 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 29.1 degrees at Drass in Kargil district.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' -- the 40-day harshest period of winter that began on December 21 and ends on January 31. It is followed by a 20-day-long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).
Meanwhile, Jammu recorded a low of 3.9 degrees Celsius which is 3.1 notches below the season's average, a meteorological department official said.
Bhaderwah in Doda district was the coldest recorded place in Jammu region with a minimum of minus 4 degrees Celsius against the previous night's minus 5.3 degrees Celsius.
The weatherman has forecast light rain or snow in Kashmir till tomorrow and said there is possibility of widespread snow from Sunday. Moderate rain is also expected in Jammu region.
It was a sunny morning in most parts of Punjab and Haryana, even as cold wave conditions persisted in the two states.
Adampur in Punjab was the coldest in the two states recording a minimum of 2.1 degrees Celsius. The Union Territory of Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, recorded its minimum temperature at 4.8 degrees Celsius, one notch below normal.
Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala recorded their respective lows at 5.1 degrees Celsius, 6.1 degrees Celsius and 5 degrees Celsius. Pathankot, Halwara, Bathinda, Faridkot and Gurdaspur shivered at 4 degrees Celsius, 3.7 degrees Celsius, 3.7 degrees Celsius, 4.6 degrees Celsius and 3 degrees Celsius respectively.
Haryana's Ambala and Hisar recorded their respective minimum temperature at 5.1 degrees Celsius and 4.2 degrees Celsius, up to three degrees below normal. Fog was witnessed at a few places, including Ludhiana.
In Rajasthan, Bhilwara recording the lowest minimum temperature in the state at 2.6 degrees Celsius, while the state capital of Jaipur registered a low of 6.6 degrees Celsius.
Vanasthali, Chittorgarh, Bundi and Churu recorded a their respective minimum temperatures at 3.6 degrees Celsius, 3.3 degrees Celsius, 3.8 degrees Celsius and 4.5 degrees Celsius.
Uttar Pradesh experienced cold and dry weather as a blanket of dense fog enveloped a few places in eastern and western parts of the state. Lucknow recorded a minimum temperature of 5 degrees Celsius, three notches below the normal mark and a high of 18.5 degrees Celsius. With the minimum temperature settling at 2.6 degrees Celsius, six degrees below the normal mark, Churk, in Sonbhadra district was the coldest place in the state while Banda recorded a low of 4 degrees Celsius.
Light to moderate rainfall is very likely over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Monday, the India Meteorological department predicted.