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Cold wave hits North India; fog disrupts normal life

Source: PTI
January 09, 2015 14:32 IST
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Image: A view of the Rajpath on a cold foggy morning in New Delhi on Thursday. Photograph: Subhav Shukla/ PTI

It was another chilly morning in the national capital as icy winds swept the city while early morning fog disrupted rail operations, delaying 52 trains.

According to meteorological department department, minimum temperature was recorded at 6.8 degrees Celsius, which was one notch below normal.

An official of the department said that shallow fog was witnessed in the national capital in the early hours and visibility was recorded at 500 meters at 8.30 am while humidity levels were registered at 94 per cent till 8.30 am on Friday morning.

According to Northern Railways, 52 trains are also running late by several hours due to dense fog.

A railway official said that almost all north-bound trains are running behind the schedule due to the adverse weather condition.

Image: A view of the North and South Blocks at Rajpath on a cold foggy morning. Photograph: PTI

Trains like Shram Shakti Express, Sampoorna Kranti Express, Vaishali Express and Chhattisgarh Express are also running late.

Premier trains like Rajdhani and Duronto Express are also running late.

However, according to airport authorities, no flight operation was delayed on account of weather.

The meteorological department has predicted mainly clear sky later in the day.

"There will be mainly clear sky throughout the day and the maximum temperature is expected to settle around 15 degrees Celsius," a MeT official said.

On Thursday, the maximum temperature had settled six notches below the season's average at 14.5 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature was recorded at 7.2 degrees Celsius. 

Image: People wrapped in woolen clothes walk along a road during a chilly foggy morning in New Delhi. Photograph: Shahbaz Khan/ PTI

Kargil, in the frontier Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, continued to be the coldest recorded place in the state registering the lowest temperature of the season, with Mercury remaining several degrees below the freezing point elsewhere, a MeT department official said.

Kargil recorded the minimum temperature of minus 17.2 degrees Celsius, down from minus 16.6 degrees the previous night, a MeT department official said.

Leh, also in Ladakh region, recorded a minimum temperature of minus of 16.2 degrees Celsius, slightly down from the previous night's minus 16.0 degrees Celsius.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, same as the previous night, the official said.

She said Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley in south, recorded a low of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius, slightly down from minus 4.6 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The Mercury in Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir, which as a base-camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, registered a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius, a degree up from the previous night's minus 7.4 degrees Celsius, she said.


Image: Women keep themselves warm around a bonfire during a chilly morning. Photograph: PTI

The minimum temperature in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg settled at minus 3 degrees Celsius, slightly up from the previous night's minus 3.6 degrees Celsius.

The night temperatures in Kupwara, in north Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 4.7 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag, in south, recorded the minimum temperature at minus 1.7 degree Celsius.

The MeT department has said a fresh western disturbance is likely to affect the state from January 12 which could result in isolated to scattered rain or thundershower.

However, it said, the weather would remain dry and cold over the state till then.

Image: An India's Border Security Force "Daredevils" motorcycle rider performs during a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on a foggy winter morning in New Delhi. India will celebrate its annual Republic Day on January 26. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/ Reuters

Kashmir Valley is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' -- the 40-day harshest winter period, which begins on December 21.

The chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent during this period and the weather remains cold during as the day temperature also dips drastically, freezing most of the water bodies including the famous Dal Lake.

Though 'Chillai-Kalan' would end on January 31, the winter continues after that. The 40-day period would be followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai Bachha' (baby cold).

Image: Children cross railway tracks covered in dense fog. Photograph: PTI

Cold weather conditions continued to prevail in Punjab and Haryana with a thick blanket of fog engulfing most of the places in the states, affecting rail and road transport.

Dense fog blinded most of the places in Punjab and Haryana, reducing visibility to below 50 meters at several places including Patiala, Amritsar.

Foggy weather also affected rail and air traffic to and from UT Chandigarh.

One flight between Bangalore and Chandigarh which was supposed to arrive at 12.55 pm was declared cancelled. Two flights between Delhi and Chandigarh were also running behind schedule by up to 45 minutes.

Among trains, long distance Unchahar Mail Express train between Allahabad and Chandigarh was running late by 3 hours 44 minutes while superfast train from Lucknow to Chandigarh was behind schedule by one hour 37 minutes.

Image: A tea vendor serving tea for its customers during a chilly foggy morning in New Delhi on Thursday. Photograph: PTI

A passenger train between Ludhiana and Chandigarh was behind schedule by one hour 27 minutes.

The meteorological department has predicted thick fog conditions in Punjab and Haryana which may reduce visibility by less than 200 meters.

Amid biting cold conditions, Amritsar city was the coldest place in the region with a minimum of 3 deg C, a MeT department report said on Friday.

Among other places in Punjab, Ludhiana and Patiala had minimum of 7.7 deg C and 8.1 deg C respectively, up by two notches above normal each.

Experiencing piercing cold conditions, UT Chandigarh recorded a low of 6.8 deg C.

In neighbouring Haryana, Narnaul had a low at 5 deg C, followed by Hisar at 5.8 deg C, Bhiwani at 6.2 deg C, Ambala at 7 deg C and Karnal at 7.2 deg C. 

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