Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh reeled under arctic conditions today, with Kargil being the coldest place in northern India at -19 degrees Celsius, even as dense fog in Delhi affected rail services.
Authorities in Srinagar today issued an avalanche warning for seven districts of Kashmir till tomorrow evening in view of forecast of rain or snow.
“According to the additional commissioner, Kashmir, avalanche warning exists for avalanche prone areas in Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Ganderbal districts of Kashmir division,” an official spokesman said here.
He said the warning would be valid from 5.00 PM today to 5.00 PM tomorrow.
“While all deputy commissioners concerned have been asked to take all precautionary measures to avert any untoward incident, the general public has been appealed not to venture in these areas during the warning period,” the spokesman added.
In Punjab and Haryana, the minimum temperatures recorded a marginal increase at many places, providing respite to the people from bone-chilling cold.
The national capital remained under the grip of cold with minimum temperatures settling at 5.6 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season’s average. The maximum temperatures stood at 23.1 degrees Celsius, three notches above the normal, a Met department official said.
The dense fog in the morning hours in the capital led to cancellation of 18 north-bound trains and delayed several others.
The Kashmir Valley continued reel under biting cold conditions. The mercury stayed much below the freezing point in the cold desert of Ladakh.
Kargil town was the coldest place in the state at -19 degrees Celsius.
Leh shuddered at -13.6 degrees Celsius. Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum of -3.6 degrees Celsius last night. Intense cold wave conditions persisted in most parts of Himachal Pradesh as minimum temperatures dropped marginally and sky remained partially overcast in Shimla and adjoining areas.
The high altitude tribal areas reeled under bone-chilling cold with minimum temperatures ranging between -14 and -20 degrees Celsius.
Keylong and Kalpa in tribal Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts recorded a low of -4.1 degrees Celsius and -1.0 degrees Celsius respectively.
The day temperatures, however, increased marginally with Una being hottest in the region at 24.5 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperatures registered a marginal increase at many places in Punjab and Haryana. Amritsar, where the mercury had been hovering close to the freezing point for past few days, today registered a low of 8.5 degrees Celsius, four notches above the normal. Chandigarh recorded a low of 6.7 degrees Celsius.
However, Gurdaspur and Pathankot continued to brave the cold weather recording the minimum temperature of 3 degrees Celsius and 5.2 degrees Celsius respectively. Police said that 15 vehicles were involved in a pile-up on the national highway near Karnal as visibility was low due to fog.
In Rajastha, there was some respite from severe cold as the mercury rose by a few degrees Celsius in most areas of the state.
Alwar was the coldest with a minimum of 4 degrees Celsius.
Cold to severe cold conditions are likely to prevail over the next few days at certain places in Uttar Pradesh, where Muzaffarnagar recorded the lowest temperature of 4.2 degrees Celsius.
Hamirpur with the minimum temperature of 4.6 degrees Celsius, Lakhimpur Kheri and Agra with minimum temperature of 4.8 degrees Celsius each and Bareliy at 5.2 degrees Celsius were among the coldest places in the state.
Phulbani in Kandhamal district was the coldest place in Odisha today at 3.5 degrees Celsius while nine other places in the state recorded a minimum temperature below 10 degrees Celsius.
Bhubaneswar, which had recorded 12.8 degrees Celsius yesterday, today experienced rise in mercury level to 13.4 degrees Celsius, while at Cuttack it was 12.8 degrees Celsius against yesterday’s 12 degrees Celsius. The highest maximum temperature of 32.6 degrees Celsius was recorded at Malkangiri.
Night temperatures were appreciably below normal in some parts of Gangetic West Bengal, Jharkhand, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh and Telangana.
The maximum temperature in Kolkata stood at 25.5 degrees Celsius and minmum at 12.5 degrees Celsius. Chennai recorded a high of 30.4 degrees Celsius and a low of 20.1 degrees Celsius, while it was 34.0 degrees Celsius (maximum) and 22.0 degrees Celsius (minimum) in Mumbai.