North plains colder than Himachal’s destinations

Shimla, Dec 16 (IANS) Most places in the plains of north India like Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Patiala and Hisar were colder on Friday than hilly tourist destinations Shimla and Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, the Met Office here said.

In Haryana, Karnal was the coldest city in the region with the minimum temperature recorded at 5.2 degrees Celsius, while Ludhiana, Patiala and Amritsar in Punjab saw the lows of 5.4, 6.7 and six degrees Celsius respectively.

Chandigarh recorded a low of 8.8 degrees Celsius, while in Haryana, Ambala with eight degrees and Hisar at 5.3 were in the grip of severe cold sweeping through the region.

Hill stations across Himachal Pradesh have been experiencing long sunny weather for the past few days and the temperatures in most places have risen.

An official at the Shimla Meteorological Office told IANS that the maximum temperature in the hill state rose by one to two degrees since Thursday.

He said the rise was abnormal, remaining three-four degrees Celsius above the season’s average.

Shimla, located around 7,000 feet above sea level, amd Dharamsala, the abode of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, experienced “warmer nights” compared to the plains of adjoining states.

The Himachal Pradesh capital recorded a low of 8.8 degrees Celsius and a high of 19 degrees. Ludhiana, Hisar and Karnal in Punjab and Haryana were even colder than Himachal’s Dharamsala (10 degrees).

However, picturesque tourist resort Manali was in the grip of bone-chilling cold at zero degree.

At 3.1 degrees below the frezzing point, Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest in Himachal.

The weather conditions in Himachal’s popular destinations like Shimla, Kasauli, Chail, Kufri, Narkanda, Dharamsala, Manali and Palampur are expected to be sunny till December 22.

“The hills are pleasant in the days with long sunny days camped to the plains that are experiencing long foggy days,” Shikha Tripathi, a tourist from Delhi, said. Her husband Nalin added: “We will now visit the hills in winter every year when the fog engulfs Delhi.”