Cold tightens its grip in northern India

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Sunbathing: A Royal Bengal Tiger yawns while making the most of the sun at Chhatbir Wildlife Park near Chandigarh on a cold Friday.
Sunbathing: A Royal Bengal Tiger yawns while making the most of the sun at Chhatbir Wildlife Park near Chandigarh on a cold Friday.

CHANDIGARH: Cold conditions intensified in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir on Friday with the minimum temperature plummeting by up to three degrees Celsius even as several parts of the region remained engulfed in dense fog.

Normal life was disrupted in the morning as dense fog in several parts of the northern region, including Ambala, Hisar, Karnal, Rohtak, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala reduced visibility to just a few metres. The ongoing spell of cold conditions has so far claimed five lives, including two in Bathinda and one in Yamuna Nagar in the past one week and two in UP, officials said here.

In the plains of Punjab and Haryana, Amritsar was coldest with a low of 1.4 degrees Celsius. Rohtak shivered at a low of 3.2 degrees Celsius, followed by Ambala at 3.8 degrees Celsius. In Haryana, Narnaul had a low of 4.6 degrees Celsius, while Bhiwani settled at 4.9 degrees Celsius. Chandigarh and Ludhiana had a low of 5.2 degrees Celsius each. Karnal braved a low of 5.4 degrees Celsius and Patiala was 5.3 degrees Celsius. Hisar recorded a low of 7.3 degrees Celsius.

The Met office forecast fog, mist or haze and ground frost in many parts of the region during the next few days. Leh and Kargil districts in the cold desert of Ladakh were freezing at minus 19 and minus 18 degrees Celsius, respectively, Met office said. Day temperature at the two areas was minus 2 and minus 4 respectively. In Kashmir valley, the famous hill resort of Pahalgam was the coldest place with a low of minus 7.6 degrees. The summer capital Srinagar also recorded the season’s low of minus 4.9. Kupwara in North and Qazigund in South registered a minimum of minus 5 degrees Celsius each, while Kokernag was slightly better at minus 4.1 degrees Celsius. Jammu region also witnessed a decline in the night temperature. The Jammu city recorded a low of 4.7 degrees Celsius. Normal life was affected as mercury dipped to one degree at the hill resort of Mount Abu in Rajasthan on Thursday night. Upper air layer of famous Nakki Lake in Mount Abu showed thin frost in the early hours on Friday. Mercury continued to plummet at all places in the State with Srigangangar in the plains being coldest at 3.6 degree C. People in Churu experienced a chilly night where the minimum temperature was 4 degree C. Dholpur, Pilani, Sikar, Bundi, Jalore, Bharatpur, Chittorgarh and Udaipur recorded minimum temperature in the range of 6.5 to 9 degree C. Jaipur recorded 9.2 .

Sunny day

Himachal Pradesh witnessed a sunny day with a temperature of 14.1 degree Celsius. Night temperature in Shimla was 2.6 degrees. Lower areas elsewhere in the State also witnessed a marginal rise in mercury. But higher reaches areas of the hill State remained under the grip of intense cold.

Keylong, headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti, remained the coldest with night temperature recorded at minus 13.2 degrees. Other high hills areas like Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded night temperature of minus 4 degrees while it was minus 1.4 degrees in Bhuntar in Kullu district.

Dry cold

Dry cold conditions continued in Uttarakhand with a bright sunny day. But the night temperature fell by an average of 2 notches below normal in most of the places with Dehra Dun recording the temperature at 5 degrees. A large number of tourists, however, gathered to enjoy the Christmas celebrations at various areas like hill resorts of Mussoorie and Nainital.

Two more dead

Two persons were killed due to cold in Barabanki district in UP, as temperature dropped in major parts of the State. While the body of a 30-year-old man was recovered in Begumganj area on Thursday night, a 14-year-old girl died on Friday in Barauli village of Barabanki district due to intense cold, they said. With minimum temperature hovering around 4.0 degree Celsius, Najibabad was the coldest place in the State. Sultanpur recorded a minimum of 5.9 degree Celsius. Gorakhpur recorded a low of 7.6 degree Celsius. -- PTI



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