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Cold Wave Grips North, Northwest India; Mercury Plunges Across Several States

The weather office said the cold wave conditions are expected to prevail for the next two days and abate thereafter. Another western disturbance is likely to visit the western Himalayan region on the night of December 29, bringing isolated to scattered rainfall/snowfall to the region.

Cold wave conditions likely to persist in north India over the next few days
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Biting cold conditions gripped parts of north and north-west India as mercury plummeted several notches with cities and towns reporting maximum temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius and dense fog engulfing large tracts in Punjab and Haryana while Kashmir reeled under deep freeze.

The mercury plunged to a minimum of 5.3 degrees Celsius in the national capital, and made a slow climb as the day progressed to settle at a maximum of 16.2 degrees Celsius, a departure of five degrees from the normal temperature for the day.

Water supply lines freeze in Kashmir

In the Kashmir Valley, cold conditions further intensified as the minimum temperature dipped several degrees below the freezing point and many places experienced the season's coldest night, officials said. The intense cold conditions led to freezing of water supply lines in many areas as well as the freezing of the interiors of the Dal Lake, they said.

The minimum temperature in Srinagar settled at minus 5.8 degrees Celsius -- down from minus 5.4 degrees Celsius Thursday night, the officials said. The city experienced its coldest night so far this season, they added.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir's Baramulla district recorded a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius.

Chandigarh reported a maximum temperature of 11.1 degrees Celsius, Ambala 11 degrees Celsius (9 deg below normal), Hisar 10.2 degrees Celsius (-11.8 deg), Delhi 16.2 degrees Celsius (-5 deg), Amritsar 12.9 degrees Celsius (-7.1 deg), Ganganagar 10.3 degrees Celsius (-11.7 deg), Bareilly 15.4 degrees Celsius (-6.6 deg), the weather office said.

Cold wave to grip north India

Most of the stations of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi and adjoining west Uttar Pradesh and northwest Rajasthan reported decreasing 24-hour tendencies up to six degrees Celsius, it said.

The weather office said the cold wave conditions are expected to prevail for the next two days and abate thereafter. Dense fog conditions were likely to continue over Punjab, Haryana and north Rajasthan till December 27 and gradually decrease thereafter.

Temperature dipped in parts of Rajasthan where Sikar with 0.5 degrees Celsius was recorded as the coldest place. Karauli shivered at 0.7 degrees Celsius while the night temperature was 1.7 degrees Celsius in Nagaur, 2.5 degrees Celsius in Churu, 3.4 degrees Celsius in Bikaner, 3.9 degrees Celsius in Pilani (Jhunjhunu), 4 degrees Celsius in Alwar, 4.7 degrees Celsius in Vanasthali (Tonk), 5 degrees Celsius in Bhilwara, 5.3 degrees Celsius in Anta (Baran) and 5.6 degrees Celsius in Sriganganagar.

Western disturbances to bring snowfall in Himalayas

The weather office has forecast isolated snowfall over the Western Himalayan region under the influence of a western disturbance, an extra-tropical weather system that originates in the Mediterranean sea.

Another western disturbance is likely to visit the western Himalayan region on the night of December 29, bringing isolated to scattered rainfall/snowfall to the region, it said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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