Fresh snowfall in Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Uttarakhand
Marginal rise in temperature across northern plains
New Delhi: Several areas in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir received fresh snowfall on Saturday as the mercury rose marginally across north Indian plains, which had been under the grip of a severe cold spell for over two weeks.
Popular tourist destinations Shimla and Manali in Himachal Pradesh witnessed the first snowfall of 2020, bringing cheers to tourists and hoteliers alike, while cold conditions persisted in the northern plains despite a marginal increase in temperature.
A number of tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh were shivering at sub-zero temperatures, Shimla MeT Centre Director Manmohan Singh said.
Manali in Kullu district received snowfall on Saturday morning, whereas state capital Shimla witnessed snowfall in the afternoon.
Light snowfall (0.2 cm) occurred in Kalpa in tribal Kinnaur district, whereas some parts of the state, including Bhuntar (7.8 mm), Seobagh (6.2 mm) and Manali (1 mm), received rain, he added. Keylong recorded the lowest temperature in the state at minus 10.5 degrees Celsius.
Kalpa registered a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius, while Manali and Dalhousie shivered at minus 1.2 and minus 0.6 degree Celsius, respectively, Singh said. The minimum temperature in Shimla, Solan and Dharamshala was 0.7, 2 and 2.8 degrees Celsius respectively, he said.
Many parts of Kashmir received fresh light snowfall on Saturday, leading to an increase in the minimum temperature which brought some relief to the people from the intense cold conditions.
A MeT official said the weather would remain generally cloudy in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh Union territories.
"Light snowfall of two to five inches occurred at many places of Kashmir, hilly areas of Jammu and on the higher reaches of Ladakh," he said.
A spell of widespread light to moderate snowfall is likely to occur during January 6 to 7 evening, he said.
The official said the fresh snowfall brought some relief to the residents in the Valley from the intense cold conditions as the night temperature showed improvement.
Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 0.1 degree Celsius on Friday night, over three degrees up from minus 3.7 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The official said the ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6.5 degrees Celsius, two degrees up from the previous night.
The night temperature at Pahalgam resort settled at a low of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius, over seven degrees up from minus 10.0 degrees Celsius Thursday night, he said.
The mercury in Leh in Ladakh settled at a low of minus 18.3 degrees Celsius, he said.
Higher reaches of Uttarakhand hills, including Chardham, received heavy snowfall, while the lower areas were hit by showers and hail.
The Gangotri and Yamunotri temples in Uttarkashi district, Kedarnath in Rudraprayag besides Badrinath in Chamoli district received heavy snowfall in the afternoon and were covered under thick layers of snow, Disaster Management Officials said.
Harsil, Sukki, Mukhwa, Jankichatti and Kharsali in Uttarkashi district also received snow.
Snowfall in the higher reaches and rain coupled with hail at places in the lower areas led to a sharp drop in temperatures.
Nanda Devi National Park and Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary in Chamoli district also put on white sheets of snow.
State capital Dehradun was also lashed by rain coupled with hail in the afternoon intensifying the cold.
Mukteshwar recorded a minimum of -1.2 degree Celsius, followed by New Tehri at 1.2 deg Celsius, Pantnagar at 6.5 degree C and Dehradun at 7.3 degree Celsius, the MeT office said.
Punjab and Haryana battled cold wave conditions on Saturday with Faridkot being the coldest place in the two states at 3.6 degrees Celsius.
Among other places in Punjab, Patiala, Amritsar, Ludhiana shivered at 4.8, 4.6, 4.5 degrees Celsius respectively.
In Haryana, Karnal and Ambala recorded their respective minimums at 6.8 and 4.5 degrees Celsius.