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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Cold wave conditions continued unabated in several parts of north India on Friday with Delhi recording the season's lowest temperature and the IMD predicting some relief in the region from December 31 onwards.

The minimum temperature settled at 4.2 degrees Celsius in the national capital, three notches below normal.

Twenty-one trains were delayed for a maximum of six hours in the north due to the weather conditions.

In Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season with the city freezing at minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, the regional MeT office said.

The minimum temperatures across Kashmir and Ladakh remained several degrees below the freezing point owing to a clear sky, a MeT department official said.

The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius last night -- up from the previous night's minus 11.2 degrees Celsius, he added.

The night temperature at Pahalgam, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, witnessed a low of minus 12 degrees Celsius as against the minus 12.7 degrees on Thursday, the official said.

Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag district was the coldest recorded place in the valley, he added.

Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 10.5 degrees Celsius, Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 7 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in north Kashmir registered a minimum temperature of minus 6.3 degrees Celsius, the official said.

Leh town in the Union Territory of Ladakh recorded a low of minus 20.7 degrees Celsius, he added.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of the "Chillai-Kalan", the 40-day harshest winter period when the chances of snowfall are the most frequent and the maximum temperature drops considerably.

The "Chillai-Kalan" began on December 21 and ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long "Chillai-Khurd" (small cold) and a 10-day long "Chillai-Bachha" (baby cold).

Kufri, Manali, Solan, Bhuntar, Sundernagar and Kalpa shivered below sub-zero temperatures in Himachal Pradesh, a MeT department official said, adding that Keylong recorded the lowest temperature in the state at minus 15 degrees Celsius.

The MeT office has predicted snowfall in the middle and high hills of the state from December 31 to January 2.

Kalpa in Kinnaur district registered a low of minus 1.7 degrees Celsius, while Sundernagar, Kufri, Solan, Bhuntar and Manali shivered at minus 2.2, minus 1.6, minus 1.4, minus 1.3 and minus 1 degree Celsius respectively.

The minimum temperatures in Shimla and Dalhousie were 3.8 and 4 degrees Celsius respectively.

The highest temperature was recorded in Solan at 19 degrees Celsius.

Hisar in Haryana experienced the season's coldest night as the minimum temperature dropped by six notches to 0.3 degree Celsius, a MeT official said.

The minimum temperature dropped a few notches below normal in Sirsa (2 degrees Celsius), Narnaul (3 degrees Celsius), Rohtak (3.2 degrees Celsius) and Bhiwani (4 degrees Celsius).

While Ambala (5.5 degrees Celsius) and Karnal (7 degrees Celsius) in Haryana also experienced a cold night, in Punjab, Bathinda was recorded as the coldest place with a low of 2.8 degrees Celsius.

Amritsar shivered at 5 degrees Celsius, Ludhiana at 5.6 degrees Celsius, Halwara at 5.5 degrees Celsius, Gurdaspur at 5.8 degrees Celsius and Patiala at 6.9 degrees Celsius.

Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a low of 6.6 degrees Celsius.

MeT officials said on Thursday, the maximum temperature in Chandigarh had dropped to 8.8 degrees Celsius, twelve notches below normal, a record in the last two decades.

Several parts of Rajasthan reeled under a freezing cold with Fatehpur town in Sikar district recording a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in Sikar was minus 0.8 degrees Celsius, followed by Churu (minus 0.6) and Pilani (minus 0.4), a MeT department official said.

The minimum temperature at Ganganagar was 1.4 degrees Celsius, followed by Dabok (3.2), Jaipur (4), Jodhpur (4.4), Kota (4.6), Sawaimadhopur (5.2), Bikaner (5.8), Barmer (7.8) and Jaisalmer (8.9).

A cold to severe cold wave is likely to engulf parts of north, east and central India over the next two days, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday.

In its daily weather report, the IMD said due to the persistence of cold northwesterly winds in the lower levels over northwest India and other favourable meteorological conditions, "cold day to severe cold day conditions" are very likely over many pockets of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, north Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for the next two days.

Cold wave conditions are likely to abate from these regions from December 31 onwards, the IMD said.

A dense fog is also very likely in isolated pockets of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, north Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for the next three days, over north Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim and Odisha for the next two days and over the northeast for the next four-five days, it added.

A fresh western disturbance is very likely to affect the western Himalayan region from the night of December 30, the MeT department said.

Under the influence of this western disturbance, major parts of northwest and central India are very likely to experience fairly widespread to widespread rainfall, accompanied with hailstorm, at isolated places during December 31-January 1, it said.

(PTI)

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