North India reels under cold wave and dense fog on Christmas

Cold spell disrupts life across various regions of the country
Several parts of Northern India experienced a powerful cold spell
Several parts of Northern India experienced a powerful cold spell

There was no respite from the cold wave conditions on Christmas in north India with dense fog partially stalling flight operations at Delhi airport, officials said Friday. Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 5 degrees Celsius, three notches below the normal, the weather office added. Flight operations were partially suspended at the Delhi airport due to low visibility conditions as departures were put on hold and more than 80 flights were delayed, an official said. The humidity level in Delhi was recorded at 100 per cent, and shallow or moderate fog in the evening is in the forecast.

In Himachal Pradesh, cold wave conditions continued with the mercury plunging to minus 9. Kalpa, Solan, Bhuntar, Sundernagar and Seobagh also witnessed sub-zero temperatures, Director of Shimla's Meteorological Centre Manmohan Singh said. The conditions intensified across Kashmir as the mercury slipped further below the freezing point, resulting in frozen water bodies and water supply lines in several residential areas. However, Srinagar which recorded the coldest night in 11 years on Monday at minus 6 degrees Celsius, experienced some respite as the mercury settled over a degree higher at minus 5.

The night temperature is on a decline across the Jammu region with the minimum temperature in Banihal and Batote, along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, and Bhaderwah in Doda district, slipping to sub-zero levels. Banihal, the gateway to Kashmir, was the coldest recorded place in the region with a low of minus 3. Freezing cold conditions also gripped parts of Punjab and Haryana as minimum temperatures, which have been hovering below normal limits over the past two weeks, further plummeted. Most parts of Uttar Pradesh was also in the grip of cold wave conditions and isolated areas witnessed shallow to moderate fog. According to the meteorological department, night temperatures remained much below normal in Allahabad, Meerut, Faizabad, Lucknow and Bareilly divisions and below normal in Varanasi, Agra divisions. Dense fog was also witnessed in various parts of Rajasthan amid cold wave conditions, and traffic movement was affected in Sriganganagar, Churu, Pilani, Sikar and Jaipur where visibility was as low as 50 to 90 metre and 90 to 100 metre in Bikaner, Alwar, Bhilwara and Chittorgarh. 

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