Dense fog continues to hit air, rail traffic

A dense blanket of fog enveloped entire North India on Saturday, affecting the schedule of at least 70 trains and hitting road traffic adversely. There was no let-up in the cold wave, too, which claimed five lives in Uttar Pradesh and two in Punjab.

Delhi recorded the second-lowest temperature of the season, with the mercury dipping to 4.8 degrees Celsius, three notches below normal. The maximum temperature settled at 19.2 degrees Celsius, two degrees higher than Friday.
Foggy conditions were witnessed in several parts of Delhi, which affected about 50 north-bound trains.

­Meanwhile, Rajasthan saw the minimum temperature in most areas dipping to 2-4 degrees Celsius below normal, even as parts of famed Dal lake froze in Srinagar city, which witnessed the coldest night of the season, at 5.6 degrees Celsius below the freezing point.

A Met official said the Dal lake and other water bodies in the Valley were partially frozen due to intense cold-wave conditions over the past three weeks. “The minimum temperature recorded in Srinagar today (Saturday) was minus 5.6 degrees. The lowest ever recorded in December has been minus 12.6 degrees on Dec 13, 1964,” he said.

The lake was completely frozen twice in the last 50 years—in 1986 and 1964. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Kashmir was minus 14.4 degrees Celsius on January 31, 1893.

“The weather will remain dry and cold over the next 24 hours as a Western Disturbance approaching the region could again elude the Kashmir Valley,” he said. Doctors have warned elderly persons and children in the state not to venture out of their homes in the mornings and evenings, when the temperature remains below freezing.

In the plains of UP, cold wave and dense fog continued to wreak havoc. Five people were killed in the Barabanki district on Friday night. Three persons including a home guard died of severe cold in different parts of Barabanki, said a district administration spokesman.

The rest were killed in an accident that occurred due to poor visibility on Friday night.

Cold conditions continued unabated in Punjab and Haryana, as fog affected the schedule of several trains and flights.

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