Biting cold wave sweeps north, Delhi shivers under 2.6 degree celsius

Sunday, Dec 28, 2014,21:47 IST By metro vaartha A A A

New Delhi | North India today shivered under biting cold as the mercury dipped in several places including Delhi where it settled at 2.6 degrees Celsius, the lowest in the past five year, with dense fog adding to the woes by paralysing road, rail and air traffic. At Delhi airport, as many as 73 flights were delayed, 17 diverted and six cancelled due to a thick blanket of fog in morning, while more than 80 trains were running late in the northern region, officials said. The national capital, recorded the lowest temperature in the past five years with the mercury dipping to 2.6 degrees Celsius, five notches below normal. The maximum stood at 18.3 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal.
This is the lowest temperature recorded in Delhi in the past five years. It could be the lowest in the past decade too but records for the same aren’t immediately available, a MeT official said, adding Delhi’s all time low of 1.1 degrees was recorded on 26 December, 1945. According to the MeT department, respite from the winter chill is unlikely tomorrow as the minimum is predicted to stay around 3 degrees Celsius in Delhi. Meanwhile, intense cold wave, coupled with dense fog, disrupted normal life in most parts of Uttar Pradesh. Churk in eastern region of the state was the coldest place with a low of 0.5 degree Celsius. The UP government said that there was no fresh death reported in the state due to cold since Saturday.
There is no confirmation regarding death due to cold, UP Principal Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal said. According to the Lucknow MeT office, night temperatures fell appreciably in Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Faizabad and Allahabad divisions. In Mathura, minimum temperature was recorded at 1.5 degrees Celsius. Jammu and Kashmir too continued to reel under intense cold with the mercury in the state’s summer capital Srinagar settling at minus 4.7 degrees Celsius and Leh recording the season’s coldest night so far. The minimum temperature in Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, appreciated a little to settle at minus 4.7 degrees Celsius.
Severe cold has led to the freezing of parts of many water bodies including the famous Dal Lake located in the heart of the city. Srinagar had witnessed the lowest temperature of this season the previous night with the mercury plunging to minus 5.6 degrees Celsius.
Leh, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 17.0 degrees Celsius, a further drop from the previous night’s minus 16.4 degrees Celsius. Kargil, with a low of minus 15.2 degrees Celsius, was the second coldest place in the state after Leh. In Uttar Pradesh, cold wave conditions and dense fog had claimed five lives in Barabanki district on Friday. While three persons including a home guard died of severe cold, two youths riding a motorcycle were killed after their bike hit a truck due to poor visibility in Jaidpur area of the district, officials had said yesterday. Biting cold wave also continued unabated in Himachal Pradesh as the minimum temperatures hovered around freezing point in mid and lower hills while tribal areas and higher regions reeled under subzero temperature.
The high altitude tribal areas groaned under piercing cold conditions as the mercury stayed 15 to 22 degrees Celsius below the freezing point while minimum temperature in Keylong was recorded at minus 10.4 degrees Celsius. Una in Shivalik foothills experienced the season’s coldest night with a minimum temperature of minus 3.2 degree Celsius, followed byManali at minus 2.0. State capital Shimla recorded a minimum temperature of 1.9 degrees and Dharamsala 4.2 degrees Celsius. Thick ground frost was seen in mid and higher hills while towns along the river banks remained engulfed in fog in the morning hours, reducing visibility and hampering vehicular traffic.
There was no significant change in maximum temperatures and Unarecorded a high of 18.0 degrees Celsius, followed by Sundernagar 17.3, Dharamsala 15.2 and Shimla13.2 degrees. Meanwhile, bonechilling cold wave conditions continued to sweep across Punjab and Haryana with Chandigarh recording the coldest night of the season so far at 2.3 degrees Celsius, five notches below normal. In Haryana, Hisar shivered at 3.1 degrees, while Ambala’s minimum settled at 3.5 degrees. In Punjab, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala, which were covered by fog in the morning, also continued to be under the grip of biting cold with the mercury dipping to 3.6, 3.7 and 3.6 degrees Celsius, respectively. In Rajasthan too, extreme cold conditions continued unabated with Churu recording the state’s lowest temperature at 1.4 degrees Celsius.
There was no respite from the shivering icy winds even as a thick blanket of fog engulfed parts of the state, delaying movement of at least 13 trains. Sriganganagar recording a minimum temperature of 2.4 degrees Celsius while the mercury settled at 4.3 degrees in Pilani, 4.4 degrees in Dabok and 6.5 degrees in Rajasthan capital Jaipur.

People warm themselves around a bonfire on a cold and foggy morning in New Delhi on Sunday.

People warm themselves around a bonfire on a cold and foggy morning in New Delhi on Sunday.

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