Cold wave persists in north India
New Delhi: Many parts of north India was under the grip of a cold wave with minimum temperatures remaining below the 5 degrees Celsius-mark at several places, while the 40-day harshest winter period, 'Chillai-Kalan, began in Kashmir on Monday.
The 40-day period from December 21 to January 31 is considered the harshest winter period as a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.
The cold wave prevailed unabated in Punjab and Haryana. Adampur in Punjab recorded the lowest minimum temperature at 3.2 degrees Celsius while Amritsar too reeled under an intense chill, recording a low of 4.8 degrees Celsius.
Minimum temperatures in Faridkot, Gurdaspur and Bathinda settled at 4 degrees Celsius, 6.2 degrees Celsius and 5.2 degrees Celsius, respectively.
In Haryana, Ambala experienced a cold night at 3.3 degrees Celsius, while Hisar registered a low of 5.5 degrees Celsius and Narnaul's recording a minimum of 4.3 degrees Celsius.
Further north, 'Chillai-Kalan', the 40-day harshest winter period, began in Kashmir on a dry note even as there was improvement in the minimum temperature across the valley. While 'Chillai-Kalan' will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day-long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).
The night temperature rose across the valley last night owing to a cloud cover, but the minimum still settled below the freezing point, with Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recording a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius, up from the previous night's minus 6.2 degrees Celsius.
Severe cold waves also swept through isolated places in Uttar Pradesh, with Churk in Sonbhadra district being the coldest place in the state at 3.1 degrees Celsius,.
"The weather was dry over the state. Very dense fog conditions occurred at few places in east UP while severe cold waves prevailed at isolated places over east UP," weather officials said.
Meanwhile, a 62-year-old farmer allegedly died due to cold in Uttar Pradesh's Pachnehi village. "Prima facie it appears that he died due to cold. The body has been sent for postmortem to ascertain the exact cause of death," hospital authorities said.
The minimum temperature increased marginally in parts of Rajasthan even as the mercury dipped below freezing point in Mount Abu where the night temperature was recorded at minus 2 degrees Celsius.
Himachal Pradesh witnessed slight relief from extreme cold wave conditions as the minimum temperature increased by two to three notches in the state in the last 24 hours. Lahaul-Spiti's administrative centre Keylong continued to be the coldest place in the state at minus 7.4 degrees Celsius. Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of 0.8 degrees Celsius.