Mercury falls below freezing point in Kashmir, heavy rains forcast for southern TN, Kerala

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New Delhi, Nov 30 (PTI) The mercury fell below freezing point across Kashmir and minimum temperatures at many places in north India were below the 10 degrees Celsius-mark on Monday, with Delhi recording its coldest November in 71 years, even as the IMD issued a warning for southern Tamil Nadu and Kerala in view of a brewing storm which is likely to bring heavy rains there.

A depression formed over the Bay of Bengal which is very likely to intensify into a deep depression and progress as a cyclonic storm, bringing heavy rainfall between December 2 and 3, the India Meteorological Department said, adding that the storm is likely to cross the Sri Lankan coast on December 2 evening or night and then emerge into the Comorin area -around Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu the next day morning.

Under the influence of the weather system, rainfall is likely over Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Lakshadweep from December 1 to 4, it said.

The national weather forecasting agency said the month of November was the coldest in Delhi in 71 years, with the mean minimum temperature dropping to 10.2 degrees Celsius.

Delhi had recorded a mean minimum temperature of 10.2 degrees Celsius in November 1949. The mean minimum temperature for November was 9.6 degrees Celsius in 1938; nine degrees Celsius in 1931 and 8.9 degrees Celsius in 1930, according to IMD data. Normally, the mean minimum temperature for the month of November is 12.9 degrees Celsius. It said the mean minimum temperature was 15 degrees Celsius last year, 13.4 degrees Celsius in 2018 and 12.8 degrees Celsius in 2017 and 2016.

The national capital's air quality also turned 'very poor' and was predicted to deteriorate further with calm winds and low temperature allowing accumulation of pollutants.

The city's air quality index (AQI) was 307. The winds were calm at night time. During the day, the maximum wind speed is expected to be 10 kmph, the IMD said.

The minimum temperature was 6.9 degrees Celsius on Sunday and the maximum is expected to settle around 26 degrees Celsius, the weather department said.

Up north, Kashmir experienced sub-zero night temperature on Monday as the mercury fell below the freezing point across the valley.

In Srinagar, which had recorded a minimum temperature of minus 1.4 degrees Celsius on Sunday, the mercury settled at a low of minus 1.3 degrees Celsius while the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir's Baramulla district recorded a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg was the coldest recorded place in the Union Territory.

In Rajasthan, Mount Abu was recorded as the coldest place with a night temperature of 2.0 degrees Celsius while in the plains, Churu recorded a minimum temperature of 5.5 degrees Celsius, Sikar 6.0, Pilani 7.1 and Bhilwara 8.0 degrees Celsius.

According to the weather office, the night temperature at most places is likely to drop in the coming days.

The minimum temperatures hovered close to normal limits in Haryana and Punjab, with Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recording a low of 9.1 degrees Celsius.

In Haryana, Ambala recorded a low of 7.9 degrees Celsius, while Amritsar in Punjab recorded a minimum temperature of 6 degrees Celsius, one notch above normal. The weather remained dry in Himachal Pradesh with the weatherman predicting that it will remain so in the next week till December 6.

Lahaul and Spiti's administrative centre Keylong registered the coldest place in the state at minus 2.6 degrees Celsius.

In the south, less than a week after Cyclone Nivar battered Tamil Nadu, another storm is expected to affect the southern state.

The IMD said a depression formed over the Bay of Bengal and it is very likely to intensify into a deep depression and progress as a cyclonic storm, bringing heavy rainfall in south Tamil Nadu and south Kerala between December 2 and 3.

The storm is likely to cross the Sri Lankan coast on December 2 evening or night and then emerge into the Comorin area -around Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu- the next day morning, the IMD said.

Under the influence of the weather system, rainfall is likely over Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Lakshadweep from December 1 to 4, it said.

Last week, 'very severe cyclonic storm' Nivar had hit Tamil Nadu.

The IMD issued a red-colour coded warning for the southern areas of Tamil Nadu Kerala in view of the brewing storm.

As the sea is expected to become rough due to the weather system, fishermen have been advised not to venture into the southeast and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal from the night of December 1 and along and off east Sri Lanka coast, Comorin area, Gulf of Mannar and Tamil Nadu-Kerala coasts from forenoon of December 2 for the subsequent 24 hours.

The IMD said in south Tamil Nadu and south Kerala, heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely at a few places and extremely heavy showers at isolated places on December 3.

Similar spells could be expected on the preceding and following day as well in the southern parts of the two states, including Kanyakumari and Tiruvananthapuram.

The IMD has advised total suspension of fishing operations from today till December 4 in all the regions that would come under the influence of the system. PTI TEAM TDS TDS