North India remains under the grip of severe cold

North India continued to reel under the bitter chill today as Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir recorded its coldest night of this winter and icy winds swept several parts of the region.

The minimum temperature recorded in Srinagar last night was minus 7.8 deg C, which was the coldest night this winter.

The previous low was recorded at minus 5.5 deg C, a MeT official said.

Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir, was freezing at minus 13.6 deg C, making it the second coldest place in the Valley after Gulmarg, the official said.

While Gulmarg, famous as a skiing resort, recorded a low of minus 15.2 deg C, Kokernag resort in south Kashmir recorded minus 13.0 deg C followed by Pahalgam at minus 12.2 deg C.

Kargil town in Ladakh region was the coldest place in Kashmir division with a minimum temperature of minus 17.2 deg C. Kargil had yesterday recorded its coldest night of this winter at minus 19.6 deg C.

Leh town, also in Ladakh region, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 13.6 deg C, the official said.

The plains of Punjab and Haryana also remained the grip of the cold wave where Narnaul was the coldest at 2 deg C.

Hisar, too, experienced a cold night at 4 deg C, down four notches, while Karnal shivered at 4.4 deg C, three below normal. The minimum temperature at Ambala and Bhiwani was recorded at 6.7 deg C and 5.6 deg C, respectively.

Cold winds swept Chandigarh where the low settled at 5.4 deg C. In Punjab, Amritsar recorded a low of 4.8 deg C followed by Patiala at 5.3 deg C and Ludhiana at 6.2 deg C.

The weather office, meanwhile, warned of heavy rainfall, snowfall and hail storms in various parts of Himachal Pradesh during the next 48 hours.

Cold wave prevailed in the hill state despite marginal rise in mercury as strong icy winds continued to sweep the region.

The high altitude tribal areas of Himachal Pradesh reeled under biting cold wave with the minimum temperatures ranging between minus 17 and minus 28 deg C.

Natural sources of water like lakes, springs, rivulets and tributaries of small rivers remained frozen in these areas.

The cold wave also maintained its grip over Rajasthan.

While Churui Churu recorded 1.5 deg C, Dabok recorded 3.2 deg C, Vanasthali 3.4 deg C, Sawaimadhopur 4.8 deg C, Pilani 5.5 deg C and Bundi 5.8 deg C respectively.

In the eastern front, Belghar at Odisha’s Kandhamal district shivered at minus three deg C as cold wave affected the entire district.

The famous tourist destination of Daringbadi recorded a minimum temperature of minus two deg C followed by minus one deg each at Simanbadi and Greenbadi, official sources said.

Layers of ice were seen at many places in Belaghar, Daringbadi and other places causing immense hardship to the common people particularly the poor and homeless.

Kotagarh, Tumudibandh, Raikia, Baliguda, Tikabali and Sarangagada also in Kandhamal district recorded temperature between two to three deg C.