Cold wave intensifies in North

Cold wave intensifies in North

Cold wave maintained its grip in north India, with temperatures settling below normal in most parts across Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan, as fog enveloped the region, disrupting air, rail and road traffic.

With the Kashmir valley receiving another spell of light to moderate snowfall since afternoon, traffic on the 294-km Srinagar-Jammu national highway was again disrupted on Sunday. The official said the decision regarding allowing traffic on the highway on Monday would be taken subject to weather conditions.

Since Sunday afternoon, the plains and upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir continued to receive light to moderate intermittent snowfall, which proved the prediction of the local meteorology office wrong, as they had forecast that the weather would remain dry till January 8.A met department official said fresh snowfall occurred due to developing of a feeble western disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the cold wave tightened its grip further in the Valley and Ladakh region as minimum temperatures in most places dipped several degrees below freezing point. A met official said mercury in Srinagar settled at minus 4.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday night, more than 2 degrees below Friday night’s minus 1.6 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature at the tourist destination of Pahalgam in south Kashmir dipped over 4 degrees from Friday night’s minus 7.7 degrees Celsius to minus 12.4 degrees on Saturday night, said the met department official.

However, the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir showed slight improvement, with the mercury settling at minus 9.8 degrees Celsius on Saturday night, as against Friday night’s minus 11.6 degrees Celsius.

Leh in the cold desert of the Ladakh region recorded a low of minus 8.6 degrees Celsius on Saturday against Friday night’s minus 14.7 degrees Celsius, said the official, adding that the mercury in nearby Kargil town settled at a low of minus 16.1 degrees Celsius, over three degrees down from minus 13 degrees on Friday night. In Rajasthan, eight trains of the North Western Railways (NWR) were running late by 50 minutes to about 4 hours due to fog, said an NWR spokesperson.

Fog also caused traffic jams on the Delhi-Jaipur, Kota-Jaipur and Jodhpur-Ajmer highways on Sunday morning.

On Saturday night, as the mercury plummeted to zero degree Celsius in the hill region of Mount Abu, icicles were a common sight on trees and electric wires.

With the going western disturbance, the night temperature in the plains rose by 1-3 degrees Celsius, but due to foggy days there appeared to be no respite from the cold wave sweeping across Rajasthan, said met officials.

Sriganganagar recorded the lowest temperature of 1.7 degrees Celsius in the plains, five degree below normal. Pilani recorded a minimum temperature of 3.8 degrees Celsius, followed by Churu (4.1) and Bikaner (5.7).

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