Freezing weather grips North India (Roundup)

New Delhi, Dec 12 (IANS) Several parts of hill states Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh were in the grip of bitter cold on Saturday with temperatures dipping below freezing point.

At minus 11 degrees Celsius, Gulmarg ski resort in north Kashmir was the coldest in the state on Saturday.

“The minimum temperature in Gulmarg dropped to minus 10.6 degrees Celsius on Saturday while it was 0.6 in Srinagar, minus 6.5 in Pahalgam and minus 4.6 in Leh town of Ladakh region,” an official of the Srinagar met office told IANS.

In the Jammu region, the minimum temperatures were 6.5 in Jammu city, 6.7 in Katra town, 2 in Batote and Bannihal and 0.5 degrees in Bhaderwah.

A day after it witnessed mild snowfall, Himachal Pradesh’s popular tourist destination of Manali recorded the season’s lowest temperature of minus 1.6 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

The temperature remained below the freezing point at many places in the state, an official of the Shimla meteorological office told IANS, adding the weather would remain largely dry.

Keylong, headquarters of Lahaul-Spiti district, saw a minimum temperature of minus 1.1 degrees Celsius as it recorded 10 cm snow, while Kalpa in Kinnaur district, witnessed 11 cm snow and recorded a low of minus 2.6 degrees Celsius. Dharamshala recorded a maximum of 6.8 degrees.

State capital Shimla was cold at three degrees as it saw 35.4 mm rain in the past 24 hours.

Nearby destination Kufri and Narkanda recorded mild spells of snowfall on Friday.

After a foggy morning, the national capital experienced a cloudy Saturday and the chilliest day in last four years as winds across the city took the maximum temperature down to 15.7 degrees Celsius, seven notches below average, the met office said. The weather is expected to be similar on Sunday too.

In the plains of Punjab, Sikh holy city Amritsar recorded a minimum temperature of 4.4 degrees, making it the coldest place in the state. Industrial city Ludhiana recorded a low of 8.2 degrees.

In Haryana, Narnaul town recorded minimum temperature of 8.3 degrees.

Chandigarh experienced some sunshine on Saturday after being lashed by light showers on Friday. The city recorded a maximum temperature of 19.2 degrees, three degrees below normal.

Weather officials said that the “western disturbance”, or an extra tropical storms in the Mediterranean Sea that causes rain and snow in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, which was active over Jammu and Kashmir for the last three days, had weakened and weather across the state was likely to improve.

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