Cold weather in north India; snowfall in Kashmir hills

New Delhi: Cold conditions prevailed across North India on Friday with mercury dipping in many parts of the region following snowfall in hilly areas including Kashmir where the authorities issued an avalanche warning for higher reaches.

Mercury dipped marginally in the national capital which witnessed a sunny day. The maximum temperature in Delhi was recorded at 26 degrees Celsius, slightly down from yesterday’s 26.8 degrees Celsius.

The minimum was 10 degrees Celsius, which was normal for this time of the year. Yesterday it was 10.2 degrees Celsius, a MeT official said.

Cold conditions also prevailed in several parts of Punjab and Haryana with minimum temperatures hovering a few notches below normal levels.

Amritsar in Punjab reeled under 3.8 degrees Celsius, two notches below normal. Minimum temperatures in Ludhiana and Patiala stood at 7.3 and 8.2 degrees Celsius, respectively.

The Union Territory of Chandigarh recorded its minimum at 8.2 degrees Celsius. Hisar experienced cold weather at 5.8 degrees Celsius. Both Karnal and Narnaul in Haryana registered low of 6 degrees Celsius.

In Jammu and Kashmir, intermittent snowfall continued in upper reaches of Kashmir Valley even as mercury plummeted by several degrees, intensifying cold wave.

The fresh snowfall prompted the authorities to issue a medium danger avalanche warning for high altitude areas, while snow clearance operation was on to restore snapped road links and provide basic amenities like power and water to the people, officials said.

Reports of intermittent snowfall continued from upper reaches but the plains, including Srinagar which received light snowfall last evening, witnessed improvement in the weather.

A MeT office spokesman in Srinagar said night temperature across Kashmir and Ladakh slipped below the freezing point with the famous ski resort of Gulmarg, which was covered by over one-and-a-half feet of fresh snow, emerging the coldest recorded place in the division at minus 9.6 degrees Celsius.

Pahalgam recorded 14 inches of snow and a drop of two degrees in the night temperature which settled at minus 2.4 degrees Celsius. The 3,880-metre high cave shrine of Amarnath and adjoining hills witnessed heavy snowfall.

The minimum temperature in Srinagar also recorded a drop and settled at minus 0.8 degrees Celsius. Srinagar experienced intermittent rains and snowfall throughout the day yesterday as a result of which the maximum temperature fell to 5.3 degrees Celsius – four degrees below normal during this part of the season.