Fog engulfs several parts of north India, snowfall in HP

New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) Temperatures dropped significantly at some places in Himachal Pradesh due to snowfall and also in parts of Kashmir, while fog engulfed the national capital and several northern states, delaying train services on Thursday.

The national capital witnessed a cold and foggy morning with the minimum temperature settling at 8 degrees Celsius, one notch below the average during the season. Its maximum temperature was 20 degrees Celsius.

Visibility was reduced to 200 metres in areas covered by Palam and 800 metres by Safdarjung weather stations due to shallow fog, at 8.30 am.

Twenty north-bound trains were running late by one to three hours, a Northern Railway spokesperson said.

In Kashmir Valley, Gulmarg was the coldest recorded place at a minimum temperature of minus 11.0 degrees Celsius.

Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which acts as the base camp for Amaranth yatra, recorded a low of minus 10.6 degrees Celsius, compared to minus 2.8 degrees Celsius the previous night.

Two people were reported missing while as many were rescued from the debris of a snow avalanche in Ganderbal district, officials said.

Snow avalanches occur frequently in higher reaches of Kashmir during winter. At least a dozen persons including six soldiers have lost lives in snow avalanches this winter.

According to the MeT Department, the weather in Kashmir is expected to be mainly dry over the next seven days.

Precipitation and snowfall occurred at a few places in Himachal Pradesh. As a result, major tourist hotspots of the state -- Manali, Kufri, Dalhousie and Shimla -- recorded sub-zero temperatures.

Keylong was the coldest in the state at minus 15.1 degrees Celsius.

As per data recorded at 8.30 am, Kasauli, Kalpa and Khadrala witnessed 3 cm snowfall each since Wednesday, Shimla Meteorological Centre Director Manmohan Singh said.

Bhoranj received 26 mm rainfall, followed by Baldwara 23 mm, Sangrah and Bilaspur 8 mm each, Sujanpur Tira 6 mm, Pandoh 4 mm and Rampur 3 mm, he added.

The minimum temperatures decreased by 2 to 3 degrees since Wednesday, Singh said.

Kalpa in Kinnaur district registered a low of minus 9.7 degrees Celsius, while Manali, Kufri, Dalhousie and Shimla shivered at minus 5.4, minus 5, minus 1.9 and minus 0.4 degrees Celsius respectively, he said.

There was not let-up in cold conditions in Rajasthan, with Sikar recording a low of 3.5 degrees Celsius.

Minimum temperatures at Pilani, Vanasthali, Bhilwara and Dabok were recorded at 5.5, 6.2, 6.4 and 6.6 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Similar conditions prevailed in most parts of Haryana, but there was some respite from cold conditions in Punjab where the minimum temperature settled above the season's average.

Hisar was the coldest place in Haryana recording a minimum of 4.1 degrees Celsius, four notches below normal, an official from the Meteorological Department official said here.

Narnaul also experienced cold conditions registering a low of 4.5 degrees Celsius, he said.

In Punjab, most of the cities recorded above normal temperature.

Amritsar recorded a low of 9.4 degrees Celsius, Ludhiana 8.1 degrees Celsius, Patiala 9 degrees Celsius, Pathankot 9.4 degrees Celsius, Adampur 8 degrees Celsius, Halwara 8.8 degrees Celsius, Bathinda 9.3 degrees Celsius and Faridkot 10.8 degrees Celsius.

In Uttar Pradesh, Muzaffarnagar was the coldest recorded place, where the mercury dipped to 6.3 degrees Celsius.

Night temperature dropped over Lucknow, Bareilly, Jhansi and Agra divisions but no significant change was recorded in the remaining divisions over the state.

The weatherman has predicted dry weather and shallow to moderate fog on Friday morning at most places in the state. PTI SNE SNE