Icy winds sweep across north-west India

Chandigarh/New Delhi, December 10, 2010

Icy winds swept across northwest India which shivered under severe cold conditions and witnessing foggy mornings and low mercury levels today.

Across many areas in the region, the night temperature was at a record low.

A dense fog enveloped several areas, reducing visibility to 500 metres at Amritsar, Adampur, Sarsawa, 600 metres each at Chandigarh and Hindon and 800 metres each at Pathankot, Ambala and Leh. Jammu experienced mist in the morning.

Cold conditions prevailed in most areas of Punjab with Bhatinda recording the minimum temperature at 3.1 degrees Celsius, followed by the holy city of Amritsar registering 5.6 degrees, one degree below normal. Elsewhere in Punjab, Adampur near Jalandhar, recorded the minimum temperature at 5.4 degrees. The minimum settled at 6.5 degrees at Patiala, 7.4 degrees at Ludhiana and 9.7 degrees at Pathankot.

The body of an aged person, who died due to cold, was recovered in Nabi Baradari area in Jalandhar. The body had been kept in the civil hospital mortuary for identification as no one had come forward so far to claim it, police said.

Cold conditions also prevailed in Haryana where the mercury stayed at 3.8 degrees, three degrees below normal at Hissar and 4.6 degrees, two degrees below normal, at Narnaul. The minimum showed 6.0 degrees at Karnal, 6.4 degrees at Bhivani and 6.5 degrees at Rohtak.

Cold also swept Himachal Pradesh with tribal areas of the state experiencing severe cold conditions.

Icy cold winds lashed Shimla and its adjoining areas with the capital town recording the minimum at 3.8 degrees, one degree below normal.

The night temperature, however, stayed markedly high in Chandigarh.

The Met office predicted mainly dry weather in Punjab and Haryana where days will be partially cloudy. Mist or shallow fog may occur in morning over parts of the twin states.

Parts of the world famous Dal Lake were partially frozen near banks as the summer capital Srinagar witnessed yet one of the coldest nights of the season after the minimum dipped to minus 3.8 degrees.

The famed ski resort of Gulmarg was coldest with minus 5.2 degrees minimum temperature while it was minus five at Pahalgam. People in Ladakh region continued to shiver with night temperature between minus 11 and minus 25 degrees.

A cold day was experienced in Delhi with the maximum temperature staying at three notches below normal, increasing nip in the air.

The Met office said the day temperature went down to 21.3 degrees from yesterday's 22.6.

The minimum visibility level in the morning was recorded at 500 m even as the minimum temperature registered an increase.

People in Uttar Pradesh, however, got a little respite from the cold weather as an upward trend in mercury was registered during the past two days in some parts of Uttar Pradesh.

According to UP Meteorological Department Director J P Gupta, there was a sudden change in weather, owing to the eastern winds and said people would witness nipping cold in days to come.

Weather was mainly dry in all divisions of the state. In the last 24 hours, night temperature rose appreciably in Varanasi, Faizabad, Allahabad, Kanpur, Bareilly, Lucknow, Moradabad, Jhansi, Agra and Meerut divisions and was normal in Gorakhpur division.

Temperature was largely above normal in Varanasi, Allahabad divisions, markedly above normal in Faizabad, Lucknow, Jhansi divisions, appreciably rose above normal in Bareilly division,

while it rose to normal in Agra and Meerut divisions.

In Rajasthan, the mercury dipped further to touch the mark of 2.6 degree in Churu town this morning even as Mount Abu - the only hill station in the desert state - has recorded sub-zero temperature

for past 3-4 days.

Some nearby places including Ganganagar(5.2 degrees), Pilani(5.8 degrees) and Sikar and Bikaner(6.5 degrees) also reeled under icy winds.

Night temperatures were appreciably below normal in Saurashtra and Kutch, parts of Haryana and Rajasthan and below normal in some parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

They were markedly above normal in some parts of Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Marathwada and Vidarbha; appreciably above normal in some parts of Assam and Meghalaya, Gangetic West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and were above normal in some parts of south Gujarat region and in Goa and remaining parts of Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They were normal over the rest of the country.


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