Numbing winter chills sets in across North India, temperatures expected to drop further
Delhi is on the verge of recording the second-coldest December since 1901. According to the weather department, the temperature in the national capital continues to drop and if forecasts are to be believed, the national capital would witness the season’s lowest temperature over the weekend. If so happens, Delhi would witness its coldest December in 118 years, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said.
The minimum temperature in Delhi on Friday was recorded as 4.2 degrees Celcius as numbing coldwave made past its way through the streets. Moreover, the IMD has also warned of thick to very thick fog in Delhi in the coming days.
Winter chills can even be felt during the day time in Delhi, as the population levels do not make way for sunny days. Commenting on record-breaking chills in the national capital, an official of the India Meteorological Department said the mean maximum temperature for December was less than 20 degrees Celsius only in 1919, 1929, 1961 and 1997.
December 1997 recorded the lowest MMT of 17.3 degrees Celsius, he added.
Delhi winters – What IMD says
Since December 14, most parts of the city have witnessed 13 consecutive “cold days” or a 13-day “cold spell”. The last time such a long cold spell was witnessed was in December 1997. Delhi has had cold spells only in four years – 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2014.
‘Severe cold day/cold day’ conditions are predicted till December 29. A relief, however, is expected next week due to a change in the wind direction.
According to the IMD, a “cold day” is when the maximum temperature is at least 4.5 notches below normal.
A “severe cold day” is when the maximum temperature is at least 6.5 degrees Celsius below normal.
Temperatures drop below freezing point in parts of North India
While Delhi is experiencing one of the coldest winters in years, biting coldwave persisted in north India on Thursday as the mercury continued its downward trend and temperatures are likely to drop further in the coming days. In the plains, Fatehpur town in Rajasthan’s Sikar district recorded season’s lowest night temperature at minus 3 degrees Celsius.
Cold wave intensified in Punjab and Haryana as the minimum and maximum temperatures further plummeted in the two states.
Narnaul in Haryana was the coldest place with the mercury dropping to 2.5 degrees Celsius.
Hisar was also chilling with a minimum of 3.3 degrees Celsius, a Meteorological Department weather report said.
The minimum temperature also dropped in Rohtak (3.4), Bhiwani (4.8), Sirsa (4.3), Ambala (5.3) and Karnal (6). Bathinda in Punjab was the coldest place recording a low of 4 degrees Celsius. Faridkot (4.5), Ludhiana (6.6), Patiala (6.4), Halwara (5.8), Adampur (6.8), Pathankot (6.4) and Amritsar (6.5) too experienced a cold night.
Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a low of 6.5 degrees Celsius.
The severe cold wave and foggy weather conditions will continue to prevail in the two states over the next three days, the MeT said.
The Drass belt of Kargil district became the coldest place in the twin Union Territories of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh recording a minimum temperature of minus 30.2 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature across Kashmir and Ladakh remained several degrees below the freezing point, an official of the Meteorological Department said.
A view of the snow-covered Chandra Valley in Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh
The minimum and maximum temperatures in Drass were recorded at minus 30.2 degrees Celsius and minus 13 degrees Celsius respectively. Leh recorded a low of minus 18 degrees Celsius, the weather office said.
Pahalgam, in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, was the coldest recorded place in the valley, he added.
The minimum temperature in the snow-bound Pahalgam hill resort settled at minus 12.7 degrees Celsius while, Gulmargh and Kupwara township of north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 11.2 and minus 5.6 degrees Celsius respectively.
Katra, which serves as the base camp for pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district of Jammu region, recorded 3.2 degrees Celsius, the official said, adding that Bhadarwah township of Doda district was, however, the coldest place in the region with a minimum recorded temperature of minus 2.7 degrees Celsius, followed by Banihal at minus 2.2 degrees temperature.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’– the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
The lowest temperature in the state was recorded in Keylong at minus 14.7 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature in state capital Shimla and tourist hotspot Dalhousie was 1 and 1.7 degrees Celsius respectively.
Isolated places in the middle and high hills in the state are likely to receive rain and snowfall on December 31 and January 1, the weatherman said.
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