Shimla, Manali wrapped in white blanket

Himachal Pradesh’s prominent tourist sites Shimla and Manali on Saturday woke up to a blanket of fresh snow, turning the hill stations more picturesque. The minimum temperature recorded in Shimla was 0.1 degree celsius. While Shimla saw a light spell of overnight snowfall, nearby places such as Kufri and Narkanda experienced moderate snowfall, according to a MeT official. Manali too received moderate snow.

Water in taps in residential areas located in Shimla’s US Club and Jakhu hills remained frozen throughout the day due to the extreme cold. Similarly, the Solang ski slopes, 13 km uphill from Manali, and Kalpa, 250 km from Shimla, also witnessed snow.

As news of the snowfall flashed across the plains, tourists started arriving at Shimla and Manali and the nearby hills. Bharmour town in Chamba district was the coldest place with minimum temperature at minus 13.1 degrees celsius. It saw 10 cm snow. Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district saw a low of minus 8.7 degrees celsius, while the minimum temperature was minus 4.4 degrees at Kalpa in Kinnaur district, minus 1.6 degrees in Manali in Kullu district, and 5.4 degrees in Dharamsala in Kangra district.

Shimla witnessed season’s second snowfall, said the official. It last got snow on December 22. The snow-clad Dhauladhar ranges, forming the backdrop of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association venue in Dharamsala, turned whiter.

“The higher reaches of Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur, Kullu, Sirmaur, Mandi, Shimla and Chamba districts have been experiencing moderate to heavy snowfall for the past three days, while mid and lower hills were lashed with rain,” the official added.

The weatherman said that there are chances of more rainfall and snowfall across the State in the next few days as western disturbances are active in the region.

Lucknow

Cold weather and dense fog caused nine deaths since Friday evening in Uttar Pradesh. Four people were killed in Fatehgarh due to exposure to cold while five died when their vehicle rammed into a truck in thick fog in Hathras, officials said. Fog blanketed parts of the State disrupting normal life as rains lashed several areas, MeT office said. Allahabad received 4 cms of rain, Kheri 3 cms, Varanasi, Churk, Kanpur and Kunda 2 cms each and Najibabad and Mirzapur 1 cm each.

Muzaffarnagar was the coldest zone in the State recording a low of 4.5 degrees celsius, the weather office said. In Fatehgarh, all schools up to intermediate level were ordered shut till January 14 due to cold. The district administrations had directed officials to arrange bonfires for homeless people.