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Avalanche threat in parts of HP, fog in Punjab, Har

New Delhi: Avalanche threat loomed large over some areas in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday as heavy snowfall affected life in the state, while thick fog was back at many places in Punjab and Haryana on New Year`s day.

Himachal Pradesh remained under the grip of cold wave as mercury dipped after snowfall in mid and higher hills led to a dip in night temperatures by three to five degrees. Day temperatures also stayed four to six degree below normal.

Several areas in capital Shimla and other mid and higher hills went without water in the morning as water pipes were frozen and vehicular traffic affected due to the thick ground frost.

The threat of avalanche looms over tribal areas of Lahaul and Kinnaur where people have been warned against venturing out during the day time.

The Manali-Leh road was blocked due to heavy snow while Hindustan Tibet National Highway was opened upto Matiana. Vehicular traffic to Rampur was being routed via Basantpur and Kingal.

Lahaul, Darcha, Dhundhi, Koksar and other high altitude tribal areas were covered under thick blanket of 150 cm to 200 cm of snow while Rohtang Pass wore a 200 cm thick blanket of snow.

Keylong, the headquarter of tribal Lahaul and Spiti district, recorded minimum temperature at minus 9.7 deg C while Kalpa in Kinnaur recorded a low of minus 8.5 deg C.

The high altitude tribal areas groaned under biting cold wave conditions with night temperature ranging between minus 12 and minus 18 deg C.

The minimum temperature hovered around freezing point in lower hills with Solan, Sundernagar, Bhuntar, Mandi and Palampur recording a low of 0.2 deg, 1.1 deg, 1.3 deg and 2.7 deg C, respectively.

While Kalpa received 16.8 cm of fresh snow, Palampur was wettest in the region with 50.6 mm of rains and Naina Devi and Baijnath received 30 mm and 20 mm rains.

It was a chilly end to 2010 in the national capital as a cool breeze blew across the city where the minimum temperature was recorded at 11 deg C in early morning from yesterday`s 11.8 deg C while the maximum was at 17.8 deg C.

While the minimum was four degrees above normal, the maximum was four degrees below normal.

An unidentified man died today due to cold in Jammu city, police said here. The maximum cases of cold-related deaths have been reported from Uttar Pradesh where the toll yesterday stood at 17.

Thick fog was reported from Punjab and Haryana, even as minimum temperatures in the two states settled a few notches above normal.

Fog prevailed early today at many places, including Ambala, Hisar,Rohtak, Kurukshetra, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala while misty conditions persisted at Chandigarh, the Met said here.

Chandigarh recorded a minimum temperature of 8.2 deg C, three above normal.

In Haryana, Ambala registered a low of 7.8 deg C, up by two notches while the minimum at Hisar was 7.1 deg C, also two above normal.

Ludhiana and Patiala in neighbouring Punjab recorded respective lows of 8.2 deg C and 7.9 deg C, both up by two degrees each.

Extreme cold conditions prevailed in several parts of Rajasthan with mercury dipping much below the freezing point in Mount Abu, the state`s only hill station.

Mercury dipped to minus 3.4 deg C in Mount Abu while Sikar in the planes recorded the low of 4.5 deg C. Other places recorded night temperatures in the range of 7.5 deg C to 10 deg C.

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