Cold wave was back in vast swathes of north India today bringing down minimum temperatures after two days of relief provided by rain.
However, night temperatures went up across the Kashmir Valley, where famous ski-resort Gulmarg witnessed a fresh spell of snowfall.
Icy winds swept across the national capital after a short breather even as the mercury hovered close to normal levels.
The minimum temperature in Delhi settled at 7.8 degrees Celsius which was one notch above normal for this part of the year but considerably down from yesterday’s 12 degrees.
According to the MeT department, today’s maximum was recorded at 20.7 degrees Celsius, which was normal. Yesterday, the maximum stood at 19 degrees. Early morning fog in Delhi and its neighbouring areas disrupted rail operations, delaying 29 trains to and from Delhi.
Meanwhile, Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir, received fresh snowfall even as minimum temperatures at most places in the Valley and the Ladakh region appreciated by several degrees, providing relief from the intense cold.
“There was light snowfall of 1.25 inch in Gulmarg during the night,” an official of Srinagar MeT office said, adding the minimum in Gulmarg settled at minus 5.8 degrees Celsius.
Night temperature in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, rose by over four notches to settle at minus 0.3 degree Celsius. The mercury in Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir registered an increase of over three degrees to settle at minus 3.0 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Leh in the frontier Ladakh region increased by over two notches to settle at minus 10.0 degrees Celsius compared to the previous night’s 12.2 degrees.
Kargil, also in Ladakh region, registered a low of minus 14.0 degrees, a notch up from minus 15.0 degrees the previous night, and was the coldest recorded place in the state.
In Punjab and Haryana, the mercury plummeted across the two states as cold wind resurfaced after a brief lull. Maximum temperatures dipped sharply in both the states, while night temperatures witnessed marginal fall.
Cold wave swept across the Union Territory of Chandigarh, where the minimum temperature stood at 7.8 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal.
Ambala in Haryana registered a minimum of 8.3 degrees, while Narnaul’s low settled at 4.5 degrees Celsius. Ludhiana and Patiala in Punjab recorded respective minimums of 8 and 8.8 degrees Celsius. Amritsar’s low settled at 4.6 degrees.
In the desert state of Rajasthan, biting cold conditions prevailed with popular hill station Mount Abu recording the state’s lowest temperature at 4 degrees Celsius last night.
In the plains, Churu recorded a minimum of 4.4 degrees, followed by Sikar 5.0, Pilani 5.4, Udaipur 6 and state capital Jaipur 8.3 degrees Celsius.
Dense fog covered most parts of the state affecting road and rail traffic. According to the North Western Railway, two trains were partially cancelled, three rescheduled, and 23 trains were running late by 15 minutes to over eight hours.
Meanwhile, piercing cold wave conditions continued unabated in Himachal Pradesh as minimum temperatures stayed below 4.5 degrees Celsius across the state. High altitude tribal areas groaned under biting cold with the mercury staying 15 to 22 degrees below the freezing point.
Keylong recorded minimum temperature at minus 9.5 degrees while Kalpa and Manali registered a low of minus 5.0 and minus 3.0 degrees, respectively, followed by Bhuntar 0.7 degrees, Sundernagar 1.0, Una 2.0, Solan 2.4, Palampur 3.0, Nahan 3.5, Dharamsala 3.8, and Shimla 4.3 degrees Celsius.
Day temperatures, however, rose by one to three degrees and Una was the warmest with a high of 19.0 degrees Celsius. It was 14.2 degrees in Dharamsala, 12.1 in Shimla, and 8.0 degrees Celsius in Manali.