North India continues to reel under cold, rain

North India continues to reel under cold, rain

New Year’s Eve on Tuesday turned out to be wet and cold for people across most of North India, the hill regions receiving moderate to heavy snowfall and rain lashing the plains.

Icy cold winds swept the large swathe from Punjab to Bihar.

Normal life was disrupted in Kashmir following fresh snowfall across the Valley. Kashmir remained cut off from the rest of the world as Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only road link connecting it with other parts of the country, was closed for traffic.

However, due to the snowfall, people got some respite from the intense cold wave sweeping the Valley for the past one month. Srinagar city witnessed a nearly four-degree jump in night temperature as the mercury settled at minus 1.4 degrees Celsius as compared to minus 5.3 degree Celsius on Monday night.

No flights operated from Srinagar Airport on Tuesday, an official spokesman said, adding snow clearance machines were deployed at Srinagar International Airport since morning. Authorities have advised people living in snow-bound areas above the height of 7,500 feet not to venture in avalanche-prone areas during the next 24 hours.

Hill stations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg in Kashmir had more than four feet of snow by afternoon.

Flights into the Valley were suspended. Train services from the Valley to Jammu’s Banihal town was also hit.

Night temperature plummeted to the season’s lowest of -17.3 degrees in Ladakh’s Leh. Kargil recorded a minimum of -16.4 degrees, the lowest for the town this season.

New Delhi saw the mercury dipping to 4.5 degrees Celsius. The maximum in the national capital on Tuesday was recorded at 19.5 degrees, the Met department said. The national capital also recorded 6.4 mm rainfall since Monday. Flights operated normally but the Northern Railway reported cancellation of four trains and 12 trains en-route to Delhi were delayed.

Cold swept through Himachal Pradesh as Kalpa and Shimla recorded temperatures of 4 and 7.5 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Light to moderate rainfall also hit several places across Punjab and Haryana, leaving both states reeling under the chilly conditions.

The Union Territory of Chandigarh, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Pathankot, Phagwara, Jalandhar, Ambala, Panchkula, Sonepat and Karnal all received rain. Western parts of Rajasthan continued to be in the grip of the intense cold. The hill station of Mount Abu was the coldest at minus 0.5 degrees Celsius, while Churu recorded a minimum temperature of 2.2 degrees Celsius. Jaisalmer recorded the lowest minimum of 1.7 degrees.

The weather was mainly dry over eastern Uttar Pradesh even as light to moderate rainfall occurred at a few places in the western parts of the state.

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