Delayed flights and trains and slow movement of road traffic due to foggy conditions affected life across north India on Friday as the cold wave continued to grip the region.
Thirty-four flights were delayed on Friday due to poor visibility caused by the dense fog in Delhi, said an official.
Four of the flights were to depart from Delhi while 30 others were to arrive, said the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
According to the Northern Railway, 35 trains were cancelled while 14 ran behind schedule due to the fog in and around Delhi. One train was rescheduled.
Friday was the season’s coldest day in Delhi, with the minimum temperature recorded at 4.2 degrees Celsius, three notches below the season’s average.
The capital was engulfed by dense fog, with visibility slumping to 200 metres and the humidity at 8.30 a.m. at 97 percent, the weather office said.
“The weather is likely to remain the same in the coming days,” said an official of the India Meteorological Department.
Most parts of Jammu and Kashmir were under a severe cold wave with Srinagar recording a low of minus 5.3 degrees Celsius. Jammu’s temperature was a high of 10.7 degrees.
The weather in hill destinations of Shimla, Kasauli, Chail, Kufri, Narkanda, Dharamsala, Palampur and Manali in Himachal Pradesh continued to be ‘warmer’ and perfect for a break from the biting chill of the plains where the sun has largely been fogged out.
“What a sunny weather in Shimla these days. We are basking in the sun for hours,” said Nitin Malhotra, a tourist from Delhi.
“We are marketing the concept of relaxing and basking under the sun in the hills when fog is engulfing the plains,” Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corp deputy general manager Vijay Sharma told IANS.
Manmohan Singh, director of Shimla’s meteorological department, said most of the hill destinations have a pleasant weather owing to long sunny days.
“The maximum temperature in the hills is two-three degrees above average compared to the plains,” he said.
The humidity level of plus 80 percent causes fog, he added. Singh said the sunny weather conditions would continue in the hills till January 27.
Shimla, located around 7,000 feet above sea level, recorded a high of 13.8 degrees on Friday.
Friday’s minimum temperature was 1.7 degrees Celsius in Shimla, 5.2 in Dharamsala and minus 3.6 degrees Celsius in Manali.
Even Chandigarh was a shade colder with a high of 13.7 degrees, six degrees below normal. Ambala in Haryana recorded a high of 12.3 degrees.
In Punjab, Amritsar and Ludhiana recorded a maximum temperature of 10 degrees each, making the day quite cold for people. This was 8-9 degrees below normal. The minimum temperature in Ludhiana was 4.2 degrees.
The Met office in Chandigarh predicted foggy conditions till Sunday.
In Jammu and Kashmir, foggy weather continued for a third day.
The foggy and cold weather will continue for three to four days in Jammu city after which the weather will start improving, a Met official told IANS.
In Ladakh region, Leh town recorded minus 16.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil town recorded minus 16.4 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperature.