Cold wave tightened its grip on northern plains today with the national capital recording the season's lowest temperature even as a fresh bout of snowfall added to the chill in Himachal Pradesh, where power and water supply remained out of order for the fifth consecutive day.
Strong, chilly winds swept the national capital causing the mercury to drop to 5.2 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature settled at 17.8 degrees.
The Safdarjung observatory, readings of which are considered official figures for the city, recorded a minimum of 5.2 degrees, two notches below the normal, while Lodhi Road had a low of 3.4 degrees Celsius.
Twenty-one trains were delayed, nine rescheduled and seven cancelled due to foggy weather in the city and northern states. However, flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport continued uninterrupted.
While weather remained mostly dry in Himachal Pradesh, Keylong and Saluni recorded 1 cm and 3 cm of fresh snow respectively.
About 400 roads, mostly in Shimla and Kullu district, were blocked due to precipitation, while normal life was paralysed in Lahaul and Pangi valleys with all roads covered under a thick blanket of snow.
Upper areas of Shimla, Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti remained cut off from the rest of the state as vehicular traffic was disrupted due to slippery road conditions.
Strong icy winds swept Shimla, where several places remained without power for the fifth day. Traffic jams added to the woes of people in the city. However, water supply was partially restored.
Tribal areas and upper hills in the state reeled under biting conditions. Water pipes froze and burst at numerous places in higher hills.
High-altitude tribal areas gauged minimum temperatures between minus 16 and minus 22 degrees Celsius, while Keylong and Kalpa in tribal Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts had a low of minus 9.7 and minus 7 degrees Celsius respectively.
Cold wave kept up its intensity in Jammu and Kashmir as the night temperature dropped below the freezing point with Kargil in Ladakh region recording its coldest night of the season at minus 12.4 degrees Celsius.
Leh town was the coldest place in the state recording a low of minus 13.9 degrees Celsius -– down by over two degrees from yesterday's minus 11.4 degrees Celsius.
Famous tourist spots of Gulmarg and Pahalgam were the only places in Kashmir division where mercury marked improvement.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a minimum of minus 12.0 degrees Celsius to be the coldest place in the Valley. The mercury in Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir settled at minus 6.2 degrees Celsius.
Srinagar had a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius.