Cold wave intensifies in parts of Raj; respite for Kashmir as minimum temp rises

Cold wave intensifies in parts of Raj; respite for Kashmir as minimum temp rises

New Delhi: Biting cold conditions intensified in parts of Rajasthan on Tuesday, with Mount Abu being recorded as the coldest place in the state at minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, even as there was some respite in Kashmir where most places witnessed an increase in the minimum temperature, officials said.

Sikar and Bhilwara in Rajasthan recorded minimum temperatures of 0.5 degrees Celsius and 1.6 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Churu, Vanasthali, Pilani, Dabok, Chittorgarh recorded minimum temperatures of 2, 2.8, 2.9, 3 and 3.5 degrees Celsius, according to the Meteorological (MeT) Department.

Srinagar city -- the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir -- recorded a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius, up from minus 5.2 degrees Celsius the previous night.

Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded a minimum temperature of 2.8 degrees Celsius up from minus 5.5 degree Celsius the previous night.

The minimum temperature at Gulmarg in north Kashmir's Baramulla district settled at minus 11.5 degrees Celsius on Monday night.

Pahalgam, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 7.1 degrees Celsius, rising over four degrees from the previous night's minus 11.9 degrees Celsius.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' -- the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies, including the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.

In Uttar Pradesh, cold wave conditions prevailed at isolated places in the past 24 hours with the lowest temperature recorded at 2.4 degrees Celsius in Etawah.

"Cold wave conditions occurred at isolated places over the state. Dense to very dense fog occurred at isolated places over west UP," the MeT Department in Lucknow said in a statement.

According to the India Meteorological Department, "very dense" fog is when visibility is between 0 and 50 metres. In case of "dense" fog, visibility is between 51 and 200 metres.

Reduced visibility due to dense fog caused an accident in which five people were killed in Uttar Pradesh's Bhadohi district on Tuesday. An ambulance carrying a body and on its way to Chittorgarh in Rajasthan hit a stationary truck in Gopiganj area in Bhadohi, Superintendent of Police Ram Badan Singh said.

Four members of a family and the ambulance driver were killed in the accident, the SP said.

The highest temperature in Uttar Pradesh was 22.2 degrees Celsius recorded at Lakhimpur Kheri, while the lowest was 2.4 degrees Celsius registered at Etawah.

The minimum temperatures continued to hover below normal limits in Haryana and Punjab, with Narnaul reeling at 1.8 degrees Celsius.

Narnaul in Haryana recorded four degrees below normal minimum temperature. Hisar, too, experienced a cold night recording a low of 3 degrees Celsius, down five notches below normal.

Bhiwani (4.9 degrees Celsius) and Ambala (5.4 degrees Celsius) also recorded below normal minimums.

In Punjab, Ludhiana reeled under a biting chill, recording a low of 3.2 degrees Celsius, down three notches against the normal for this time of the year.

Amritsar recorded a low of 3.8 degrees Celsius, down one notch while Patiala's minimum settled at 4.7 degrees Celsius, three notches below normal range.

Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a low of 5.7 degrees Celsius, one notch below the normal.

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