Cold continues to bite north India (Roundup)
New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) If it was cold on Thursday, it was a shade warmer on Friday in parts of north India, though the entire region still continued to reel under cold wave conditions. Some hilly areas witnessed incessant snowfall and the Kashmir Valley literally lay in deep freeze as all the water bodies remained frozen.
Leh town in the Ladakh region of Kammu and Kashmir once again topped the chart with minus 14 degrees Celsius as the night’s lowest temperature, while Pahalgam and Gulmarg suffered bone-chilling temperatures of minus 12.4 and minus 13.6 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Srinagar and Jammu also recorded their season’s coldest night so far at minus 6.3 and minus 3.1 degrees Celsius, respectively. The day’s maximum temperature was recorded at 3.2 degrees Celsius in Srinagar, 17.3 in Jammu and scarcely above the freezing point at 0.8 degree Celsius in Leh town on Friday.
The weather office forecast light rain/snow in the state during the next 24 hours and fairly widespread rain/snow during the subsequent two days.
Intense cold wave continued in most parts of Himachal Pradesh, with Manali hitting minus 7 degrees Celsius, and the Met Office forecast “chances of more rainfall and snowfall in the state from Jan 15”.
“The western disturbances — storm systems originating from Caspian Sea and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region — will be active again in the region,” Met Director Manmohan Singh told IANS in Shimla.
Most of the prominent tourist towns, including Shimla, Narkanda, Kufri, Manali and Dalhousie located in mid-hills could witness moderate snowfall after Saturday, he added.
Shimla, which saw a low of minus 1.4 degrees Celsius, had received heavy snow on January 7-8, and Manali and Kullu towns, about 250 km from here, remained wrapped in a blanket of snow.
Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district was the coldest place in the state at minus 14.8 degrees Celsius.
Those in the hospitality industry are happy as they are expecting a record number of footfalls this weekend owing to chances of more snow.
Icy cold winds continued to hit normal life in the desert state of Rajasthan, with mercury level dropping below freezing point at a couple of places in the state.
The worst were Churu with minus 0.1 degree celsius and Sikar at minus 1.0 degree celsius. Mount Abu, the only hill station in the state, recorded minus 0.5 degree celsius.
Places like Pilani and Jaipur remained extremely cold with temperatures at 1.9 and 4.0 degrees Celsius. Ganganagar saw near-freezing point cold of 0.2 degree Celsius. The temperatures were 4-5 degrees celsius lower than what is normal at this time of the year.
People preferred to remain indoors in the state capital Jaipur, where temperature has been hovering around 4 degrees celsius in the last few days.
The cold wave is likely to continue in the state at least in the next 24 hours, the weatherman said .
The national capital, however, saw a moderately foggy Friday morning, with the minimum temperature at 4.3 degrees Celsius, three notches below the season’s average.
The daylight, with pacified icy Himalayan winds, helped the maximum temperature rise to 19.5 degrees Celsius, a 1.3 degrees increase since Thursday.
Delhiites will to continue to shiver, with the minimum temperature likely to dip, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said. “Minimum temperature for tomorrow (Saturday) is predicted at 4 degrees and maximum 20 degrees.”
Thursday’s maximum temperature settled around 18.2 degrees Celsius, two notches below season’s average, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 3.4 degrees Celsius, which was four notches below the season’s average.
A total of 25 trains had arrived late in Delhi, eight rescheduled and two were cancelled until late afternoon.