Winter chill grips north India, parts of J-K, Ladakh shiver at sub-zero temperatures

New Delhi, Dec 1 (PTI) North India was swept by chilly winds on Sunday, with many places in Kashmir, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh witnessing sub-zero temperatures and the mercury dropping to 9.4 degrees Celsius in the national capital.

Leh town witnessed the coldest night of the season at minus 13.2 degrees Celsius, while Srinagar recorded a low of minus 0.9 degrees Celsius.

The famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir, which experienced several feet of snowfall last week, was the coldest place in the valley with a low of minus 8.0 degrees Celsius, the official said.

The minimum temperature in Jammu stayed over two notches below normal at 8.2 degrees Celsius. Katra, which serves as the base camp for pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district of Jammu region, recorded a low of 7.8 degrees Celsius.

After witnessing snowfall for over five days, it was a sunny day in the valley.

A traffic department official said efforts are on to restore the 434-km Srinagar-Leh National Highway, the only road linking Ladakh with Kashmir, and Mughal road.

While the Srinagar-Leh Highway was closed for traffic on November 27 following heavy snowfall in Zojilla pass and adjoining areas, the Mughal road was shut on November 6 after high altitude areas, including Pir Ki Gali, along the road experienced heavy snowfall.

Delhiites woke up to a chilly morning as the minimum temperature settled a notch below the season's average, while the maximum temperature was 23.4 degrees Celsius, two degrees below normal.

The sun shone bright in the city, but the air quality index (AQI) by 9 AM was 'poor' at 275, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.

The city was wrapped in a blanket of fog on Saturday morning with the minimum temperature settling at 12 degrees Celsius.

In neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, Manali, Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur recorded freezing temperatures as chilly winds kept blowing in most parts of the hill state.

Tribal district Lahaul-Spiti's administrative centre Keylong continued to be the coldest place in the state with the minimum temperature settling at minus 12.3 degrees Celsius, Shimla Met Centre Director Manmohan Singh said.

The minimum temperature in another tribal district Kinnaur's Kalpa was minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, whereas the popular tourist destination of Manali recorded minus 1 degrees Celsius, he said.

The minimum temperatures in Kufri, Shimla and Dalhousie remained 3.7, 5.2 and 5.3 degrees Celsius respectively, Singh added.

The highest temperature in the state was recorded in Una at 23.2 degrees Celsius.

Amritsar in Punjab experienced a cold night, recording a low of 7.8 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature in the holy city was recorded at 22.2 degrees Celsius.

Ludhiana recorded a high of 22.5 degrees Celsius, two notches below the normal, while Patiala's maximum settled at 23.6 degrees Celsius, one notch below the normal.

Hisar in Haryana too experienced a cold night at a low of 8.8 degrees Celsius. The Met department has forecast shallow to moderate fog at isolated places in Punjab and Haryana over the next two days.

Isolated places of Uttar Pradesh were wrapped in shallow to moderate fog on Sunday morning.

Muzaffarnagar was the coldest place in the state, where mercury fell to 9.5 degrees Celsius. Bareilly and Bahraich recorded a low of 9.7 degrees Celsius and 9.9 degrees Celsius respectively.

State capital Lucknow recorded the minimum temperature of 13.1 degrees Celsius, two degrees above the normal limit.

The meteorological department has forecast shallow to moderate fog at isolated places over the state on Monday.