Temperatures rise marginally in North India; fresh snowfall in Valley

New Delhi: There was slight respite from biting cold in north India as temperatures remained above normal in most parts of the region except in Kashmir which received fresh snowfall on Tuesday.

With sun shining bright, it was a warm day in the national capital and the maximum temperature rose to settle at 26.5 degrees Celsius, seven notches above the normal.

The minimum temperature was recorded at 11 degrees Celsius, four notches above the normal, said a MeT department official.

The humidity levels oscillated between 97 and 51 per cent.

Foggy conditions were witnessed in the several parts of the city which affected the visibility in the morning hours.

There was welcome relief for people in Haryana and Punjab from the biting cold that prevailed across the two neighbouring states over the past few days as minimum temperatures rose a few notches above normal.

The Union Territory of Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a low of 9.8 degrees Celsius, which was five notches above the normal for this time of the season.

Hisar registered a low of 10.6 degrees, up five notches, while Ambala recorded a similar jump in the minimum, which stood at 10.5 degrees.

Residents of Karnal and Narnaul, too, got respite from the winter chill as both towns recorded an identical minimum of 9 degrees, up two and four notches, respectively.

Patiala in Punjab, too, registered an increase in the minimum by four notches from the average.

Amritsar recorded a low of 7.2 degrees, a jump of four degrees, while the minimum in Ludhiana settled at 8.1 degrees, two notches above normal.

However, the higher reaches of the Kashmir received fresh snowfall during the night while areas in the plains saw intermittent rainfall till this morning.

The famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir had snow of a depth of 21 inches this morning, most of it received overnight.

Gulmarg was the only place in the Valley where the minimum settled below freezing point and it was also the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir.

The south Kashmir tourist resort of Pahalgam, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded 6cm of fresh snowfall while the mercury there settled at zero degrees, the MeT official said.

Srinagar, the summer capital of J&K, which yesterday experienced the season’s first major snowfall, got 9.5mm of fresh snowfall and showers during the night.

The minimum in the city dropped by over a degree to settle at 0.8 degrees, the official said.

The mercury also dropped in the towns of Qazigund, Kupwara and Kokernag.

Leh, in the frontier region of Ladakh, recorded a low of minus 5.2 degrees — an increase by nearly three notches from the previous night’s minus 7.8 degrees.

The town of Kargil nearby registered an increase of over three notches in the minimum, which settled at minus 5.6 degrees as against the minus 9 degrees the night before.

The Valley is in the midst of the 40-day harshest phase of winter, known as ‘Chillai-Kalan’ in local parlance, which commenced on December 21 and will continue till the end of this month. The chances of frequent and heavy snowfall is the highest during this period.

Meanwhile, nine trains of North Western Railway were running late due to fog in the neighbouring states of Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, NWR CPRO Traun Jain said.

Howarah-Sriganganagar train is running 13 hours late while Sealdah-Ajmer train in delayed by 3 hours 25 minutes, New Tinsukhia-Lalgarh train and Howarah-Bikaner/Jodhpur trains are late by 2 hours 5 minutes.

In Rajasthan too cold conditions subsided giving respite to the people as mercury shot up by one to four degrees owing to western disturbance while Sikar recorded the lowest temperature of 7.2 degrees Celsius in the state.

While Mount Abu recorded a low of 8 degrees Celsius, elsewhere in the state, the minimum temperature remained in two digits. Jaipur recorded a low of 11.9 degrees Celsius.