Cold wave conditions persist in most parts of north India
Himachal Pradesh, J&K likely to get fresh snowfall over next couple of days
New Delhi: Cold wave conditions persisted in most parts of north India on Sunday as the weatherman forecast fresh snowfall and rain in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir over the next couple of days. In Himachal Pradesh, the meteorological department issued orange and yellow weather warning for heavy rain and snowfall for the next two days. Light rain, snowfall occurred at isolated places over the state in the past 24 hours.
Minimum temperatures decreased by 2-3 degrees Celsius with Shimla, Manali, Kufri, Dalhousie, Keylong and Kalpa shivering at sub-zero temperatures, said Manmohan Singh, director of Meteorological Centre, Shimla.
Under the influence of fresh western disturbance, the Met department forecast heavy rain, snowfall in middle, high hills from Monday to Thursday and thunderstorm in the plains, low hills of the state from Monday to Wednesday. The Met office issues colour-coded warnings 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 conditions that have the capacity to impact significantly, whereas yellow is the least dangerous among the warnings.
The weather department said heavy rain snowfall might disrupt traffic in Kullu, Chamba, Lahaul-Spiti, Shimla, Kangra and Kinnaur districts on Monday and Tuesday. Landslide is also expected at isolated places, he added.
Meanwhile, the lowest temperature in the state was recorded in Keylong at minus 11.60 degrees Celsius. Kalpa registered a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius, while Manali, Kufri recorded minimum temperature of minus 5 degrees each.
Dalhousie, Sunder Nagar, Shimla and Solan shivered at minus 1.2, minus 0.8, minus 0.7 and minus 0.5 C respectively, Singh said.
In Jammu and Kashmir, overcast conditions brightened the prospects of fresh snowfall.
"Light to moderate snowfall is expected in most parts of Kashmir over the next 48 hours, " an official of the Met department said. He said overcast skies have resulted in warmer than expected night temperature with Srinagar recording a low of minus 1 degrees Celsius last night.
The official said the ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded the low of minus 10.5 degrees Celsius last night four degrees down from Saturday.
The night temperature at Pahalgam resort, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 9.4 degrees Celsius nearly seven degrees down from minus 2.5 degrees Celsius yesterday, he said.
The official said Qazigund the gateway town to the valley - in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.6 degree Celsius up over six degrees from the previous night's minus 7 degrees Celsius. Kokernag town, also in south, recorded a low of minus 4.9 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in north, registered the minimum of minus 4 degrees Celsius, the official said. The mercury in Leh, in the Ladakh Union territory, settled at a low of minus 16.4 degrees Celsius.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' - the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
'Chillai-Kalan' began on December 21 and ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).
Meanwhile, intense cold wave conditions persisted in Punjab and Haryana, with the mercury plunging several degrees below the normal and fog engulfing few areas, including Ludhiana.
Karnal was the coldest place in Haryana with a low of 1.8 degrees Celsius, five notches below the normal, a Met department official said.
Bathinda and Adampur were the coldest in Punjab at 3.3 degrees Celsius each.
Among other places in Punjab, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala shivered at 4 degrees Celsius, 5.4 degrees Celsius and 7 degrees Celsius respectively.
Pathankot, Halwara, Faridkot and Gurdaspur recorded minimum temperatures of 5.1 degrees Celsius, 5 degrees Celsius, 3.7 degrees Celsius and 5 degrees Celsius respectively.
In Haryana, Hisar, Ambala and Narnaul recorded lows of 4.2 degrees Celsius, 7.2 degrees Celsius and 4.9 degrees Celsius respectively. In Rohtak, Bhiwani and Sirsa, the minimum temperatures were recorded at 6 degrees Celsius, 7.1 degrees Celsius and 5.8 degrees Celsius respectively.
Union Territory Chandigarh, joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, recorded a minimum of 5.6 degrees Celsius.