Air, road traffic hit in JK, hailstones in Delhi as spell of wet winter extends

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New Delhi, Jan 6 (PTI) Parts of north India witnessed snowfall or rain on Wednesday affecting air and road traffic in Jammu and Kashmir, while the national capital woke up to the pitter-patter of hailstones as the city's spell of wet weather entered its fourth day.

The India Meteorological Department, however, said dry weather is expected over entire Northwest India from Thursday, but dense to very dense fog is very likely in many pockets of the region due to favourable weather conditions.

While Jammu and Kashmir received rain and snow, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep, Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh and Delhi witnessed rain or thundershower at most places during the 24 hours ending at 8.30 am Wednesday.

'We had 28 arriving flights and 28 outgoing flights and all of them were cancelled,' said a Srinagar airport official, citing snowfall and poor visibility.

An official of the traffic control room in Jammu said, 'No traffic was allowed on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway due to accumulation of snow and landslides at many places.' South Kashmir's Kulgam district received highest snowfall with five to six feet of snow accumulated at some places. Anantnag district has also received heavy snowfall. This also led to power supply disruptions in many areas across the valley.

Incessant downpour has thrown life out of gear for the last three days in Jammu with the city reporting 50.1 mm rainfall in a 24-hour period ending Wednesday morning, its second-highest for the month of January in 20 years, Meteorological department officials said.

In Delhi, meanwhile, people woke up to the rumbles of thunder and the sound of hailstones hitting rooftops and windows as the city received rainfall for the fourth consecutive day.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said parts of South Delhi reported hailstorm around 7:30 am. Dark clouds lowered visibility, and a short spell of heavy showers inundated key stretches of major roads in the city, affecting traffic movement.

Residents in neighbouring Gurgaon also shared video clips of hailstorm there.

The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded 6 mm rainfall between 8:30 am on Tuesday and 8:30 am on Wednesday.

At Safdarjung, the minimum temperature settled at 13 degrees Celsius, six notches above normal, as a result of the cloud cover over the city.

Meanwhile, moderate rains and thundershowers were observed over isolated places in western Uttar Pradesh while very light rains and thundershowers occurred at some places in the state's eastern parts on Wednesday, the Met department said.

State capital Lucknow recorded a minimum temperature of 12.7 degrees Celsius, while Allahabad recorded 14.6 degrees Celsius. The lowest minimum temperature in the state was 6.2 degrees Celsius, recorded in Etawah and Banda.

Night temperatures were above normal across most of Rajasthan, barring Mount Abu, the state's only hill station, where the mercury dipped to minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, weather department officials said in Jaipur.

In the plains, Jaisalmer was recorded the coldest at a minimum of 7.4 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperatures stayed above normal levels in Punjab and Haryana too, following rains in both the states.

Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, recorded its low at 13.6 degrees Celsius, eight notches above normal.

In Haryana, Ambala, Hisar and Karnal recorded their respective minimums at 11.9, 11.8 and 13.2 degrees Celsius, up to six degrees above normal. PTI TEAM TIR TIR