Northern India was slightly warmer on Wednesday as temperatures generally rose across the region, parts of which were bracing for either rain or snowfall in the coming few days.

The national capital saw the mercury inching upwards to touch 8.3 degrees Celsius after being pulled back a little yesterday when it had dropped a notch below normal to 6.6 degrees.

According to the MeT department, the maximum on Wednesday was recorded at 24.1 degrees, four notches above normal and up from the previous day’s 22.6 degrees Celsius.

The morning remained fog free while the MeT office has predicted partly cloudy sky with rain or thunderstorm on Thursday.

In the neighbourhood, the worst seems to be over for Uttar Pradesh where the mercury shot up across the state with sunshine at several places bringing respite from biting cold.

The MeT office said that night temperatures rose across the state which has seen more than 250 people succumb this season to the harsh winter chill. The lowest temperature recorded in the state was 5.7 degrees Celsius at Etawah.

The MeT department added that there was a chance of rain or thundershowers at isolated places in western UP with the possibility of even hailstorm over the coming 72 hours.

Jammu and Kashmir saw overnight and a rise in temperatures in parts of the Valley even as the weatherman predicted snowfall from tonight, prompting the administration to order closure of Srinagar-Jammu national highway on January 17 and 18 as a precautionary measure.

According to the MeT department, Srinagar was at -0.1 degrees Celsius, up from -0.4 degrees the previous night after receiving 0.2 mm rainfall.

Although the mercury did not register a major slide anywhere in the state, there were areas, like the popular tourist destinations of Pahalgam and Gulmarg, which did see some drop in temperatures.

The weather office has forecast moderate to heavy snowfall starting tonight, which is likely to intensify on January 17 and 18 and may even continue till January 19.

Himachal Pradesh, too, was also likely to receive heavy rains, thundershowers or snowfall, the MeT office predicted.

There is a warning for heavy rain/snowfall at a few places in Chamba, Lahaul and Spiti, Kullu, Kangra, Kinnaur and Shimla districts and heavy rains and thundershowers in isolated places in Una, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Solan and Sirmaur districts on January 17 and 18.

In Rajasthan, night temperatures increased by a few notches in certain areas with Sri Ganganagar, at 4.5 degrees, the coldest place in the state.

The cold persisted in most parts of Punjab although neighbouring Haryana registered a marginal increase in minimum temperatures.

According to the MeT department, Amritsar remained the coldest place between the two states with a minimum of 3 degrees Celsius.

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