NEW DELHI, Dec 30: The hilly states in north India reeled under frigid conditions even as a blanket of fog covered the plains, hampering the movement of traffic today.
Visibility levels dropped on a foggy morning in Haryana, Punjab, UP and New Delhi, though the sun shone bright in the afternoon in the region.
In Delhi, the mercury settled at 22.6 degrees Celsius owing to a warm afternoon. The city recorded a minimum of 7.2 degrees Celsius.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Leh braved the coldest night so far this year at minus 13.8 degrees Celsius. The night temperature at the nearby Kargil town settled at a low of minus 11.2 degrees Celsius.
Srinagar city, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded the minimum temperature of minus 3.5 degrees Celsius.
The mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, a 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably. It ends on January 31 next year, but the cold wave continues even after that in the valley.
Life moved at a snail’s pace in frigid conditions in higher tribal reaches of Himachal Pradesh where the mercury was recorded 13 to 19 degrees below the freezing point.
Overcast conditions added to the discomfiture of the people.
All natural sources of water such as lakes, springs, rivulets and tributaries of major snow-fed rivers have frozen. The discharge of water in major rivers has reduced to 20 per cent.
Dense fog engulfed the towns along river banks while thick ground frost occurred in the lower and mid hills.
Day temperatures stayed marginally below the normal level. Una was the hottest in the region with a maximum of 23.6 degrees Celsius.
Cold conditions prevailed in Punjab and Haryana where many places were engulfed in fog with Hisar being the coldest in the region registering a low of 3.9 degrees Celsius.
Minimum temperatures in most parts of Punjab and Haryana hovered between three degrees above normal to three notches below normal, the MeT office said.
Dense fog engulfed many places in Uttar Pradesh and Muzaffarnagar was the coldest place in the state recording minimum temperature of 4.2 degrees Celsius.
Day temperatures fell appreciably in Varanasi, Faizabad and Allahabad, and were markedly below normal at many places of the State, the weatherman said. (PTI)