Fresh snowfall in Kashmir, drop in temp in north Maharashtra likely from January 25 onwards

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New Delhi, Jan 23 (PTI) Fresh snowfall occurred at several places in Kashmir, affecting air and road traffic on Saturday, while cold conditions prevailed at many places in the plains of north India, even as the IMD predicted a drop in temperatures in northern parts of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, from January 25 onwards.

The India Meteorological Department said rain and thundershowers occurred at a few places over Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and Muzaffrabad and at isolated places over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karaikal, Kerala and Mahe.

It said conditions are favourable for drop in temperature in northern parts of Maharashtra, including Mumbai and Thane, which may cause a decline in minimum temperature from January 25 onwards.

It predicted that the minimum temperature could be around 12 degrees Celsius in north Maharashtra, which includes Nashik district, and the conditions may persist for a few days starting January 25.

Delhi's minimum temperature rose to eight degrees Celsius on Saturday even as fog lowered visibility to 300 metres in some parts of the city.

A fresh Western Disturbance (WD) affecting the western Himalayas provided some relief from the chill, the IMD said, but added that the minimum temperature in the national capital will again drop to four degrees Celsius by Monday.

Up north, many parts of Kashmir, including Srinagar, received fresh snowfall, the third time this month, affecting air and road traffic.

The air traffic to and fro Kashmir was affected as no flight operations took place at the Srinagar airport on Saturday morning, vehicle movement on the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway, including on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel was suspended following fresh snowfall, leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) pressed its men and machines into service to clear the road of snow.

The minimum temperatures across the Valley, however, increased due to an overcast sky.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir received about 10 inches of snow, Kupwara, received three inches of snow, Qazigund one cm and Srinagar 0.2 cm.

The minimum temperature at most places in the Valley last night was above normal for this time of the season, with Srinagar city recording a low of minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, up from minus 6.1 degrees Celsius the previous night and Gulmarg settling at minus 4.8 degrees Celsius, up from minus 6 degrees Celsius the night before.

The Meteorological Department predicted light to moderate snowfall at scattered to widespread places in the plains of Kashmir and hilly areas of Jammu along with rain and thunder in the plains of Jammu till the forenoon on Sunday, adding that there is also a possibility of heavy snowfall at isolated places over the Valley, especially in the higher reaches.

The weather department also predicted rain in plains and low hills in Himachal Pradesh and rainfall, snowfall in mid hills and high hills of the state for Sunday.

Keylong, the administrative centre of the tribal Lahaul and Spiti district, continued to be the coldest place in Himachal Pradesh at minus 2.1 degrees Celsius, while Kalpa and Kufri recorded a low of 0.4 and 3.6 degrees Celsius, respectively.

In Rajasthan, the weatherman predicted that cold conditions may revive in the state from Sunday at a time when the night temperatures presently are hovering 2-3 degrees above normal.

It predicted cold wave to severe cold wave conditions in few areas of Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Alwar, Ajmer, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Nagaur, Ganganagar, Churu and Hanumangarh districts for Sunday.

Meanwhile, Pilani registered the coldest place in Rajasthan with a minimum of 5.3 degrees Celsius followed by Dabok in Udaipur district where the night temperature was 8 degrees Celsius.

In Punjab and Haryana, the minimum temperatures rose by a few notches and hovered above the normal limits.

Amritsar in Punjab recorded a low of 9.6 degrees Celsius, while Ludhiana and Patiala recorded above normal minimum temperatures at 10.3 degrees Celsius and 10 degrees Celsius respectively.

In Haryana, Ambala (10.1 degrees Celsius), Hisar (nine degrees Celsius), Karnal (nine degrees Celsius), Narnaul (7.5 degrees Celsius), Rohtak (8.2 degrees Celsius) and Sirsa (10.2 degrees Celsius) recorded above-normal minimum temperatures.

Cold to severe cold day conditions occurred at isolated parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh where many places also witnessed dense fog. The weather department said cold day conditions also prevailed at isolated places over west UP.

The lowest temperature was recorded at Hamirpur at 6.2 degrees celsius while the highest temperature was recorded at Jhansi at 27.4 degrees celsius.

The IMD predicted dense to very dense fog in some pockets over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, east Uttar Pradesh and Bihar for Sunday and at isolated pockets over Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram among others.

It said cold day to severe cold day conditions is likely eastern UP and at isolated pockets over Bihar while cold wave conditions is likely to prevail over isolated pockets in north Rajasthan. PTI TEAM TDS TDS