New Delhi, Jan 8 (PTI) Cold wave conditions continued unabated in several parts of north India on Friday with the minimum temperature in Delhi dropping to 9.6 degrees Celsius and a MeT official predicting severe winter for Rajasthan in the coming days.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that due to the prevailing of dry north or northwesterly winds over most parts of northwest India, minimum temperature will fall gradually by 3-5 degrees Celsius during the next 4-5 days causing cold wave conditions over Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana and north Rajasthan.
Rainfall along with thundershowers was observed at some parts of Tamilnadu, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Maharashtra, Kerala, Rajasthan, Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Some parts of Himachal Pradesh recorded sub-zero temperature and cold wave conditions prevailed in Punjab and Haryana, while the weather remained dry over Uttar Pradesh.
The minimum temperature in the national capital dropped to 9.6 degrees Celsius, a day after it rose to 14.4 degrees Celsius, the highest in January in four years, according to the IMD.
A cloud cover persisted over the city, preventing a steep decline in the minimum temperature, an IMD official said.
The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for Delhi, recorded a minimum temperature of 9.6 degrees Celsius as against 14.4 degrees Celsius on Thursday.
Delhi witnessed rainfall for four consecutive days till Wednesday under the influence of a strong western disturbance affecting northwest India. In Jammu and Kashmir, vehicles stranded on the national highway were allowed to ply towards their destinations as the arterial road was cleared after remaining closed for five days due to heavy snowfall, officials said.
No new traffic was, however, allowed on the highway, the only all-weather road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country, even though there was improvement in weather conditions across the Valley.
'Stranded traffic has been allowed to move after the highway was cleared for the movement of traffic this morning,' an official of the Traffic control room said.
The 260-kilometre-long highway was blocked due to snowfall and landslides.
Several areas of Rajasthan were engulfed by a thick fog cover.
A Meteorological (MeT) official said the winter is expected to become severe in the state in the coming days under the influence of a new western disturbance.
He also said that rains are likely to occur in the state in the next 24 hours.
R S Sharma, regional director, MeT Centre, said with the activation of the fresh western disturbance, light to moderate rain is likely to occur in the districts of Kota, Bharatpur and Jaipur divisions in the next 24 hours.
Hailstorm is also likely to occur at a few places, he said.
In Punjab and Haryana, cold weather conditions continued to sweep the two states, with Hisar turning out to be the coldest place.
Hisar in Haryana recorded its low at 4.4 degrees Celsius, two degrees below normal.
Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, recorded its low at 12.6 degrees Celsius, seven degrees above normal.
In Haryana, Ambala and Karnal experienced cold weather conditions at 10.5 and 8 degrees Celsius, up to four degrees above normal.
In Himachal 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 10 degrees Celsius, Shimla MeT centre director Manmohan Singh said.
Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius respectively.
The minimum temperature in Manali, Dalhousie and Kufri recorded at 2, 3.2 and 5.4 degrees Celsius, respectively.
In Uttar Pradesh, day temperatures fell 'markedly' in Jhansi and 'appreciably' in Kanpur, Lucknow, Bareilly and Meerut divisions but no major change was recorded in the remaining divisions of the state.
Night temperature also fell 'markedly' in Jhansi and 'appreciably' in Bareilly and Meerut divisions.
However, no major change was recorded in the remaining divisions of the state, it said.
The maximum temperature at Varanasi was recorded at 29.5 degrees celsius while the minimum temperature in Banda was recorded at 6.4 degrees Celsius.
The IMD has forecast isolated to scattered rainfall with isolated thunderstorm and lightning very likely over Maharashtra and Goa during the next two days. PTI TEAM KJ KJ