New Delhi, Dec 19 (PTI) The cold wave sweeping through north India intensified at most places in the region on Saturday, with Delhi as well as Srinagar recording their lowest minimum temperatures of the season.
Many hill stations of Himachal Pradesh shivered at sub-zero temperatures as Lahaul-Spiti's Keylong was recorded the coldest in the state at minus 12.1 degrees Celsius. The mercury dipped across Punjab and Haryana too, with Adampur recording the lowest temperature in the twin states at minus 1.9 degrees Celsius.
Cold wave conditions prevailed in Rajasthan, with the state's only hill station, Mount Abu, recording a low of minus 1.4 degrees Celsius, while isolated places in east Uttar Pradesh witnessed cold to severe cold conditions.
Cold wave conditions were also observed at isolated places in Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan, Muzaffarabad, Uttarakhand, west Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
Dense fog was seen in isolated pockets in Punjab, east Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Meghalaya, and Tripura, it said.
The IMD had earlier said night temperatures would continue to be below normal in north India over the next week. In its forecast from December 17-24 and from December 24-30, the IMD said the minimum temperatures would be below normal by 2-6 degrees over most parts of northwest, central and east India.
Icy winds from the snow-laden Western Himalayas continued to sweep Delhi, leading to biting cold conditions as the minimum temperature dropped to 3.9 degrees Celsius, the lowest this season so far.
'The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a low of 3.9 degrees Celsius, four notches below normal. The maximum temperature settled at 21.8 degrees Celsius,' an IMD official said.
The city had recorded a 'severe' cold day on Thursday as the maximum temperature dropped to 15.2 degrees Celsius, seven notches below normal and the lowest this season so far. The minimum temperature is expected to hover around 5 degrees Celsius in the next five to six days, the IMD said.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar experienced the coldest night of the season so far at minus 6.6 degrees Celsius as other parts of the Valley reeled under freezing night temperatures.
The Valley is bracing for the 40-day harshest winter period, 'Chillai-Kalan', from Monday when the chances of snowfall are high and the temperature drops considerably.
The mercury in south Kashmir's Pahalgam settled at minus 9.5 degrees Celsius and in Gulmarg, at minus 9.2 degrees Celsius.
Qazigund recorded a minimum of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius, Kupwara 6 degrees Celsius and Kokernag minus 6 degrees Celsius.
The Met department said there was a possibility of light to moderate snowfall on Monday and Tuesday at isolated places of Kashmir.
In Himachal Pradesh, Keylong, Kalpa, Manali, Solan, Chamba and Mandi shivered at sub-zero temperatures.
Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius, while it was minus one degree Celsius in Manali. Solan, Mandi and Chamba recorded their respective minimums at minus 1.3 degrees Celsius, minus 1.1 degrees Celsius and minus 0.4 degree Celsius.
Una, Kufri and Dalhousie registered zero, 0.8 and 4.7 degrees Celsius respectively. The minimum temperature in Shimla was 4.4 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperatures hovered around the freezing point at several places in Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh, the common capital, recorded a low of 4.3 degrees Celsius.
Punjab's Halwara shivered at minus 0.8 degree Celsius, while it was 0.6 degree Celsius in Amritsar. The minimum temperatures of Faridkot, Pathankot, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Patiala and Gurdaspur were 1 degree Celsius, 2.2 degrees Celsius, 2.6 degrees Celsius, 2.8 degrees Celsius, 4 degrees Celsius and 4.1 degrees Celsius respectively.
In Haryana, Ambala recorded a minimum of 4 degrees Celsius, while that in Hisar and Karnal were 2.8 and 2.3 degrees Celsius respectively. Narnaul, Rohtak, Bhiwani and Sirsa shivered at 2.2 degrees Celsius, 3.8 degrees Celsius, 3.9 degrees Celsius and 4.9 degrees Celsius respectively.
Cold wave conditions prevailed in most of Rajasthan. Churu was the coldest in the plains at 0.1 degree Celsius.
The Jaipur weather office forecast cold wave conditions for the next few days, especially in Sriganganagar, Hanumamgarh, Bikaner, Churu, Jaisalmer, Sikar and Jhunjhunu.
Bhilwara recorded a minimum of 1.6 degrees Celsius, followed by 2.5 degrees Celsius in Chittorgarh, 3 degrees Celsius in Pilani, 3.5 degrees Celsius in Sikar, 4.2 degrees Celsius in Banasthali, and 4.5 degrees Celsius each in Sriganganagar and Kota.
The weather was dry in Uttar Pradesh and cold to severe cold conditions prevailed at isolated places in the state. State capital Lucknow recorded a low of 4.3 degrees Celsius, while Allahabad and Kanpur recorded 5.6 degrees Celsius each.
The lowest temperature in the state was recorded at 2.6 degrees Celsius in Fursatganj (Raei Bareli) and Churk (Sonbhadra).
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, meanwhile, directed officials to ensure arrangements are made for bonfires at prominent public places in the state, a statement said.
In Madhya Pradesh, cold wave conditions prevailed in Rewa, Shahdol, Sagar, Jabalpur, Gwalior and Chambal divisions, and several of these places will continue to face chilly weather till Sunday morning, an IMD official said in Bhopal. PTI TEAM IJT