Nippy Thursday across north India (Roundup)

February 9th, 2012 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 9 (IANS) The cold wave continued unabated across north India Thursday as temperatures dipped across the region. Bright sunshine in most places could not provide respite from the big chill as icy breezes blew throughout the day.

The national capital witnessed a chilly morning with the minimum temperature dropping to 4 degrees Celsius — five notches below average, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official told IANS. Wednesday’s minimum temperature was recorded at 8.5 degrees.

Himachal Pradesh’s popular tourist destinations Shimla and Manali saw the season’s lowest temperatures, respectively at minus 3.8 degrees and minus 7.4 degrees — a sharp fall from Wednesday.

Shimla recorded 5.4 cm of snow and Manali 4 cm from Wednesday to Thursday morning. But a bright sun shone in the azure sky during the day.

“The entire belt of Kinnaur, Shimla, Lahaul and Spiti and Kullu districts witnessed moderate to heavy snowfall,” a Met official said.

Upper areas like Narkanda, Jubbal, Kotkhai and Kharapathar experienced heavy snowfall.

Night temperatures also plummetted across Punjab and Haryana.

The minimum temperature in Chandigarh dipped to 5 degrees — two degrees below what is average for this time of the season — from Wednesday’s 6.4 degrees.

In Haryana, Narnaul was the coldest place at minus 0.5 degree, a whopping seven degrees below normal. The mercury fell in Hissar from 1.6 degrees to the freezing point.

Amritsar was the coldest town in Punjab at 0.4 degree — five degrees below the season’s average.

Temperature in Agra in Uttar Pradesh dipped to a shivering 1.7 degrees Celsius. At the 17th century Taj Mahal, visitors wrapped themselves up in shawls and other woollens against chilly winds.

The Sri Nathji Night Shelter was packed with the homeless.

Its official Bankey Lal Maheshwari told IANS: “Our half a dozen shelters were overflowing with people as there was a sudden drop in temperature. We were thinking of winding up the shelters this week, but now it appears we may have to continue for another week.”

The minimum temperatures remained below the freezing point in Kashmir even though improvement in the day temperatures has brought some relief to the residents.

The minimum temperature was minus 2.1 degrees in Srinagar but a lot colder at minus 11 degrees in Pahalgam, minus 11.5 degrees in Gulmarg, minus 16.4 degrees in Leh and minus 16 degrees Celsius in Kargil town.

“The improvement in the day temperatures has brought in relief and the same dry weather conditions are likely to continue for another four days here,” said local weather office director Sonam Lotus.

In Srinagar, despite the sub-zero night temperatures the waters of the Dal Lake thawed after remaining frozen at many places for nearly a month.

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