(G.N.S) Dt. 30
It was the season’s lowest night temperature in the town, which was the coldest recorded place in the state last night. Leh experienced its coldest night this winter as the minimum temperature there settled nearly 14 degrees Celsius below the freezing point, even as the mercury continued its downward spiral in Kashmir valley and Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir.
Leh town, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded a minimum night temperature of 13.8° Celsius, against minus 11.4° Celsius of the previous night, MeT officials here said.
It was the season’s lowest night temperature in the town, which was the coldest recorded place in the state last night, they said.
The official said the night temperature at the nearby Kargil town settled at a low of minus 11.2° Celsius, a drop of 2° from the previous night.
Srinagar city, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 3.5° Celsius, down from minus 2.8° Celsius the previous night.
The mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius, down down from minus 2.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 0.4° Celsius, the weather department official said.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 4.1° Celsius on Friday night, down from the previous night’s minus 3.5° Celsius, the official said.
He said the mercury at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 6.6 degrees Celsius, a degree colder than the previous night’s minus 5.4 degrees Celsius.
The night temperature in Pahalgam — the famous health resort which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra — recorded a low of minus 5.5° Celsius — compared to Friday’s minus 5.4° Celsius, the official said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ — the 40-day period of harshest winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably. ’Chillai Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave is likely to continue even after that in the valley, the MeT officials said. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai- Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold). The weather office has forecast mainly dry weather in Kashmir over the next few days.
Delhi woke up to a cold and foggy Saturday, with the minimum temperature recorded at 7.2 degrees Celsius, the season’s average, the weather office said. At least 13 trains were cancelled, 36 delayed and two rescheduled due to fog in several parts of northern India. The humidity at 8.30 am was 100% and visibility stood at 400 metres. “The sky would remain clear in the day ahead,” an official of the India Meteorological Department said.
The maximum temperature was likely to hover around 25 degrees Celsius. Friday’s minimum temperature was recorded at 6.8 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature settled at 25.3 degrees Celsius, five notches above the season’s average.
In Uttar Pradesh, heavy fog continued to disrupt air, rail and vehicular traffic in most parts for the second consecutive day, slowing down normal life as the cold wave intensified. Visibility dropped to one metre on many state and national highways, leading to several pile ups and accidents.
Six persons of a family, including an infant, were killed on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway late on Friday when a speeding truck on the wrong side rammed into their car. Despite police orders, heavy vehicles continued to ply on the expressway, endangering commuters lives.
All schools up to Class 8 have been closed till January 4, following the state government’s order. Timing of senior classes has also been changed to later in the day. The regional Met office has predicted foggy days to hold ground for the next few days. Vehicular traffic was hit by the poor visibility and the rail traffic has been completely disrupted.
Some trains that were running behind schedule included Lucknow-Chandigarh Express, Vaisahali Superfast to New Delhi, Lucknow Mail, Padmawat Express, Sabarmati Express and Shatabdi Express between Lucknow and New Delhi. The humidity levels have been 100% in the past 24-hours in eastern and central parts of Uttar Pradesh while the western parts are going dry.
The maximum temperature in major cities of the state was hovering around 18 degrees Celsius, adding to the winter bite. The cold wave was likely to intensify in the coming days and relief in the form of sunny days would come only in the New Year, weatherman said.