Cold conditions persist in north India; Kashmir receives fresh snowfall

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New Delhi, Jan 9 (PTI) There was no let-up in cold weather conditions in north India on Saturday with fresh snowfall in parts of Kashmir affecting flight operations.

A thick layer of fog enveloped parts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Heavy rainfall was observed at isolated places in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Kashmir.

In Delhi, the minimum temperature was recorded at 10.8 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal.

The minimum temperature in the city has remained above normal since January 3 as a result of cloud cover under the influence of successive western disturbances.

The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, had recorded a minimum temperature of 9.6 degrees Celsius on Friday and 14.4 degrees Celsius on Thursday, the highest in January in four years, the IMD said.

The cloud cover over the national capital has prevented a steep decline in the minimum temperature so far, an IMD official said.

Some other parts of Kashmir received four inches of snowfall in the morning, affecting flight operations at the airport in Srinagar, even as the minimum temperature dropped across the valley.

However, air traffic to and fro Kashmir was restored in the afternoon after several flights were cancelled in the morning due to fresh snowfall.

The valley had received snowfall for four consecutive days earlier in the week, draping everything in white.

In south Kashmir, Kulgam recorded five inches of snow, Anantnag three, Shopian three and Pulwama four. Bandipora, in the north, received two inches of snow and central Kashmir's Budgam and Ganderbal districts recorded three inches each.

There were no reports of snowfall at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir, and Pahalgam tourist resort in the south.

Some other areas in the valley received rainfall.

In Himchal Pradesh, Keylong and Kalpa shivered at sub-zero temperature.

The tribal Lahaul and Spiti's administrative centre Keylong were the coldest place in the state at minus 9 degrees Celsius, Shimla MeT centre director Manmohan Singh said.

Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, he added.

The minimum temperature in Manali, Dalhousie and Kufri were recorded at 1, 2.5 and 4.6 degrees Celsius, respectively. Cold weather conditions prevailed in Punjab and Haryana even as the minimum temperatures in the region hovered above normal levels.

Common capital Chandigarh recorded a low of 10.8 degrees Celsius, five notches above normal.

Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala in Punjab recorded their respective minimums at 9.4 degrees Celsius, 10.7 degrees Celsius and 10.3 degrees Celsius, up to six notches above normal for this part of the year.

The minimum temperatures of Pathankot, Adampur, Bathinda, Faridkot and Gurdaspur settled at 11.6 degrees Celsius, 8.7 degrees Celsius, 6.3 degrees Celsius, 7.5 degrees Celsius and 8.8 degrees Celsius respectively. Rajasthan recorded a minimum temperature of 5 degrees Celsius.

Bikaner, Ganganagar and Jaislmer registerd night temperatures of 6.6, 7.2 and 7.3 degrees Celsius.

In Uttar Pradesh, light rains along with thundershowers occurred at isolated places over western parts of the state, while weather was dry over eastern parts.

State capital Lucknow recorded a minimum temperature of 12.4 degrees Celsius, while Allahabad registered a low of 15.4 degrees Celsius.

Gorakhpur recorded a low 12 degrees Celsius, Jhansi registered 13.5 degrees Celsius.

The IMD has forecast minimum temperature very likely to fall gradually by 3-5 degrees Celsius during the next 3-4 days, causing cold wave conditions over Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan from January 11 to 13. PTI TEAM KJ KJ