Temperatures dropped in several places across north India on Thursday and Delhi witnessed a very cold morning with the overall air quality recorded in the ‘very poor’ category with fog disrupting rail and road traffic in the region.
The minimum temperature in the national capital was recorded at 3.7 degrees Celsius, four notches below the season’s average, the weather office said. The maximum temperature is expected to hover around 21 degrees Celsius, and the humidity at 8.30am was 97%, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official told IANS.
The overall air quality in the national capital was found in ‘very poor’ category, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
“While there was shallow to moderate fog in most parts of the city, a few places saw dense fog causing visibility issues. The sky will remain clear with cold wave conditions at many places,” an official said.
There would be haze and mist later in the day.
Wednesday’s maximum temperature settled at 21.3 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s average, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 3.6 degrees Celsius, four notches below the season’s average — the lowest of this season so far.
News agency ANI reported 15 trains to Delhi were running late on Thursday due to foggy conditions.
Several places in Himachal Pradesh, including Manali and Kalpa, witnessed fresh snowfall on Wednesday night, the meteorological department said.
Rain and snowfall are also predicted in isolated parts of the state between December 30 and January 3. A weather official said several parts of Himachal Pradesh, including tourist attractions Shimla, Manali, Dalhousie, Kufri and Narkanda, may receive snowfall around the New Year.
Snowfall is predicted in middle and higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh on December 30 and December 31 under the influence of a fresh western disturbance from December 29, he said.
Another western disturbance may cause snowfall and light precipitation over the state from January 1 to 3 next year.
Extreme cold wave conditions continued to prevail in most parts of Uttarakhand. Badrinath, Auli and Chopta in Uttarakhand also received fresh snowfall on Thursday.
The temperature plummeted to sub-zero level in more than six towns in the state. The minimum temperature recorded in Almora was minus 3.5 degree Celsius while the mercury touched minus one degree Celsius in Mukteshwar and Pithoragarh in Kumaon.
Manali in Himachal Pradesh receives fresh snowfall. pic.twitter.com/bfFtR3dPsk
— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2018
#Uttarakhand: Badrinath, Auli and Chopta receives fresh snowfall pic.twitter.com/rv5dOL9KNX
— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2018
Reports said natural water bodies have frozen in the hilly regions like the Yamuna valley in Uttarkashi and some parts of Pithoragarh. Landslides have been also reported from an area near Banswada in Rudraprayag on the Kedarnath highway.
State capital Dehradun was also reeling under the cold wave with the mercury recording a three-year low of 4.2 degrees Celsius.
The fog has affected the road and rail traffic with several trains running hours behind their schedule and a few cancelled due to the bad weather.
The Regional Met Office said the weather would continue to be harsh for the next three days and gutsy chilly wind would continue to bring down the mercury. The cold wave is likely to intensify in Haridwar, Rishikesh and Udhamsingh Nagar.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar witnessed the coldest December night in Srinagar in 28 years as the city shivered at minus 7.6 degree Celsius.
After December 7, 1990, when the minimum temperature had dropped to minus 8.8 degree Celsius, the city recorded the coldest night of the season at minus 7.6 degree, breaking the December 31, 2007, record of minus 7.2 degree, an official of the Met department said.
Water taps, lakes, ponds and other water bodies were frozen in and around Srinagar in the morning.
Drass was the coldest town in Jammu and Kashmir at minus 20.6 degree Celsius. The maximum temperature in the town on Wednesday was minus 8 degree Celsius. Pahalgam recorded minus 8.3 degree Celsius, and the minimum temperature in Gulmarg was minus 9 degree Celsius. Leh recorded minus 8.4 degree and it was minus 16.2 degree in Kargil.
Jammu recorded 4.3 degrees, Katra 3.7 degrees, Batote minus 2.2 degree, Bannihal minus 3.5 degree and Bhaderwah minus 2.5 degree as the night’s lowest temperature.