Cold wave persists in north India; yellow alert issued for several places in Rajasthan

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New Delhi, Jan 11 (PTI) Cold weather conditions prevailed in north India on Monday as the MeT Department issued a yellow alert for cold wave in several areas of Rajasthan, while the minimum temperature rose at most places in Kashmir bringing some respite to people.

Rains along with thundershowers were observed in parts of Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal and Sikkim/ Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 7 degrees Celsius, which likely drop further, and Punjab and Haryana reeled under cold weather conditions. Uttar Pradesh witnessed dry weather and a few places in Himachal Pradesh witnessed sub-zero temperatures.

In Rajasthan, cold wave conditions prevailed in parts of the state as the minimum temperature dropped by up to four degrees Celsius in the last 24 hours.

The Meteorological (MeT) Department also issued a yellow alert for cold wave in several areas for the next 24 hours.

Churu recorded 1.9 degrees Celsius on Sunday night while Ganganagar registered a low of 3.9 degrees Celsius, showing a drop of three and four notches, respectively against the previous night.

Similarly, the minimum temperature last night was 3.9 degrees Celsius in Pilani, 4 degrees Celsius in Sikar, 5 degrees Celsius in Barmer and Eran Road, 5.4 degrees Celsius in Bikaner, 6.8 degrees Celsius in Phalodi and 7.1 degrees Celsius in Jodhpur.

In Delhi, the mercury is likely to drop to five to six degrees Celsius by January 14.

The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a minimum temperature of 7 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature on Sunday was 16.2 degrees Celsius, four notches below normal.

Delhi has registered above-normal minimum temperatures since January 3 as a cloud cover persisted over the city under the influence of successive western disturbances.

In Kashmir, Srinagar recorded a low of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius, up from minus 2.6 degrees Celsius the previous night.

There was some respite for residents of Srinagar from intense cold as the minimum temperatures rose at most places in Kashmir.

The minimum temperature in Gulmarg tourist resort settled at minus 9.6 degrees Celsius, down from minus 7.2 degrees Celsius the night earlier.

Gulmarg was the coldest recorded place in the valley.

Pahalgam tourist resort, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, up from minus 5.9 degrees Celsius a night earlier.

Qazigund recorded a minimum of 0.2 degrees Celsius, Kupwara, in the north, minus 1.0 degrees Celsius and Kokernag minus 2.0 degrees Celsius. Cold weather conditions persisted in most parts of Punjab and Haryana, where Narnaul was the coldest place recording a minimum temperature of four degrees Celsius, a notch below normal.

Chandigarh, the joint capital of both states, registered its low at 9.5 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) official said.

Among other places in Punjab, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala recorded minimum temperatures of 7.2, 7.9 and eight degrees Celsius, respectively, up to four notches above normal.

The minimum temperatures of Pathankot, Adampur, Halwara, Bathinda, Faridkot and Gurdaspur settled at 9.4, 8.3, 6.3, 6.8, 7 and 8.5 degrees Celsius, respectively.

In Himachal Pradesh, Keylong and Kalpa reeled under sub-zero temperature.

Keylong, the administrative centre of tribal Lahaul and Spiti district, continued to be the coldest place in the state at minus 10.3 degrees Celsius.

Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of minus 3.3 degrees Celsius.

The weather was dry across Uttar Pradesh with cold day to severe cold day conditions at isolated places over western parts of the state.

State capital Lucknow and Kanpur both recorded a minimum temperature of 8.5 degrees Celsius. Allahabad recorded a low of 13 degrees Celsius, while Varanasi's minimum was 13.6 degrees Celsius.

The MeT Department has forecast that due to the prevalence of dry northwesterly winds, minimum temperature is very likely to gradually fall by 2-4 degrees Celsius over most parts of northwest India during the next 3-4 days, which is very likely to cause severe cold conditions at some parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, northwest Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan.

Rainfall and moderate thunderstorm and lightning is likely over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala and Lakshadweep during the next three days and a significant decrease in rainfall activity over these regions thereafter, it said. PTI TEAM KJ KJ KJ