Cold wave grips north India, to last till Jan 13 at least
New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) With temperatures dipping at most places as icy winds swept the plains following heavy snowfall in the hill states over the past five days, cold wave conditions intensified over north India on Wednesday.
Jammu and Kashmir was in the grip of an intense cold wave with Srinagar recording a minimum temperature of minus 4.1 degrees Celsius and maximum temperature of 6.2 degrees.
The weather office said that the night temperatures could drop further as the dry weather was likely to continue during the next 48 hours.
In Pahalgam, the minimum dropped to minus 12.4 degrees Celsius, while Gulmarg recorded minus 13 degrees Celsius.
In Himachal Pradesh, tourist resort towns of Shimla and Manali also witnessed bitter cold, recording minimum temperatures of minus 3.2 and minus 6.6 degrees, six and eight degrees below normal respectively. Manali's maximum temperature of 2.8 degrees was eight degrees below normal.
Amritsar in Punjab was the coldest place in the plains with the minimum temperature at 0.9 degrees and a high of 17.6 degrees. Ludhiana and Patiala cities recorded lows of 1.6 and 2.7 degrees, four degrees below normal.
Chandigarh residents too had a shivering night with the minimum temperature going down to 2.4 degrees, two degrees below normal. The city saw a high of 16.1 degrees. Icy winds swept the city and neighbouring areas.
With Wednesday being the first day of filing of nominations and start of the poll process for the February 4 assembly elections in Punjab, candidates and their supporters had to brave the chill while campaigning.
With heavy snowfall in many parts of neighbouring Uttarakhand, icy winds blew through many places in Uttar Pradesh intensifying the cold wave in the state on Wednesday.
The morning temperature in Lucknow dropped to 8 degree Celsius.
In view of the chill, all schools in the state capital have been asked to remain closed till January 15, an official said on Wednesday.
The order would be enforced on all schools, government, semi-government and private for classes up to class 8. Students of classes 10 and 12 would, however, be rejoining as per schedule.
As a result of poor visibility and fog in western UP, many trains have been delayed by hours, forcing some cancellations by the Northern Railways (NR), leading to inconvenience to hundreds of passengers.
Cold wave conditions affected life in desert state of Rajasthan with minimum temperature touching minus 2.4 in Mount Abu, while Churu was the coldest in plains in the state shivering at minus 0.3 degrees Celsius, 5 degrees below normal.
Jaipur recorded a minimum temperature of 3.8 degree Celsius, 5 degrees Celsius below normal.
The local weather office said that there no respite is likely from the cold wave in the next 48 hours.
Looking at cold wave, district collectors in some districts have declared holidays in schools till Saturday. In Jaipur, the District Collector has directed schools will not start before 9.30 a.m.
National capital Delhi witnessed a chilly Wednesday morning with the minimum temperature dropping to four degrees Celsius, three notches below the season's average and the lowest this season.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast no rain and predicted the cold wave could mellow down from January 13 (Friday) onwards.