No white Christmas in Himachal this year

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Shimla, Dec 21 (IANS) There will be mellow sunshine and no snowfall on Christmas Day at most of the tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh as the weather bureau on Friday predicted dry weather will continue to prevail in the state.

“No significant western disturbance is active in the region. Most of the towns in the state will witness sunny days for 8-10 days,” Manmohan Singh, director of Shimla’s Met office, told IANS.

But temperatures have been unusually low in most of the popular tourist spots like Shimla, Narkanda, Kasauli, Manali, Dalhousie and Chamba.

Keylong, the headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti district, was the coldest place with the minimum temperature dipping to 7.6 degrees Celsius below the freezing point.

The night temperature in capital Shimla was 5.5 degrees Celsius, whereas Kalpa, some 250 km from here, saw a low of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius.

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It was minus 1.4 degrees Celsius in Manali and 6.6 degrees in Dharamsala and 6.2 degrees in Dalhousie.

But excited holidaymakers, mainly from the northern states, have already started descending on tourist resorts across the state.

“This weekend almost all our hotels have been packed to capacity,” a senior official with the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) told IANS.

The HPTDC has 57 economy and high-end hotels across the state.

He said the arrival of the tourists in Shimla, Narkanda, Manali, Dalhousie, Dharamsala and Palampur is quite good.

The mountain peaks viewed from Shimla’s historic Ridge have been wrapped in a thick white blanket of snow.

Popular resort Manali is getting a good share of tourists as its nearby hills have plenty of snow.

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