Fresh snowfall in Himachal Pradesh; IMD predicts spell of chill in north, central India

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New Delhi, Jan 24 (PTI) Cold weather conditions continued as Kufri, Bharmour, Keylong and Kalpa in Himachal Pradesh received fresh snowfall on Sunday, with the IMD predicting a fresh spell of chill in parts of north and central India in the coming days.

Meanwhile, a 45-year-old farmer died allegedly due to cold in Uttar Pradesh while irrigating his field, police said on Sunday.

The national capital recorded a 'cold day', as the maximum temperature dropped to 15 degrees Celsius, six notches below normal and the lowest this month, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

A 'cold day' is when the minimum temperature is less than 10 degrees Celsius and the maximum is at least 4.5 degrees Celsius below normal.

The minimum temperature settled at 8.8 degrees Celsius. However, it is expected to drop by three to four degrees Celsius over the next three days, leading to cold wave conditions, the IMD said.

Earlier in the day, a thick blanket of fog shrouded Delhi, lowering visibility to 100 metres and affecting traffic movement. Dense fog reduced visibility to 200 metres at Safdarjung and 100 metres at Palam.

With the movement of the western disturbance further northeastwards from Jammu and Kashmir, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said dry northwesterly winds are likely to pick up from afternoon of January 25 and persist during the subsequent 3-4 days over plains of north and adjoining parts of central and western India.

Under its influence, the current spell of dense to very dense fog in some pockets over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, north Rajasthan is likely to persist over these areas till January 26 and decrease thereafter, it said.

There was fresh snowfall in Kufri, Bharmour, Keylong and Kalpa of Himachal Pradesh, while some other parts of the state saw light to moderate rainfall, the meteorological department said.

Keylong received 15 cm snowfall in a 24-hour period, followed by Kalpa with 4.6 cm and Kufri with 2 cm, Shimla MeT centre director Manmohan Singh said.

Apart from that, Kangra witnessed 25.4 mm rainfall, Chamba 20 mm, Palampur 17 mm, Dharamshala 14.8 mm, Manali 10 mm, Una 3.2 mm and Shimla 1.7 mm, he said.

The weatherman said the weather would be dry in the hill state till February 1.

Lahaul and Spiti's administrative centre Keylong was recorded the coldest place in the state at minus 9.2 degrees Celsius.

Kalpa, Dalhousie and Kufri recorded their respective minimums at minus 4.1 degrees Celsius, minus 1.8 degrees Celsius and minus 0.5 degrees Celsius, Singh said.

The highest temperature in the state was recorded in Solan at 21 degrees Celsius, he added.

Night temperatures remained above normal in parts of Rajasthan, where Bhilwara was recorded as the coldest place at 6 degrees Celsius.

However, the mercury dipped to zero degrees Celsius in Mount Abu, the sole hill station of the desert state.

The minimum temperature at most places in Kashmir decreased on Sunday after snowfall, but the clouds made way for the winter sun in the morning, officials said.

The night temperature in the Kashmir valley, except in Srinagar and Qazigund, went down on Saturday night, they said.

Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 1.9 degrees Celsius, slightly up from minus 2 degrees Celsius the previous night.

Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded a minimum of 3 degrees Celsius, a degree up from the previous night, they said.

The minimum temperature at Gulmarg, in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, settled at minus 11 degrees Celsius on Saturday night, down from minus 4.8 degrees Celsius the night earlier.

Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 12 degrees Celsius – over ten degrees down from the previous night's minus 1.3 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh is likely to witness a further dip in minimum temperature in the next three days due to winds blowing from northern areas, IMD officials said.

'The mercury is likely to dip from Monday and the minimum temperature might go down by three to five degrees Celsius. The cold spell is expected to last for three days beginning Monday,' P K Saha, senior meteorologist at the IMD's Bhopal office, said.

The state has so far witnessed four short wet spells during this winter season - one last month and three this month.

According to IMD, Khandwa district recorded the highest maximum temperature of 33.1 degrees Celsius in the state during the 24 hours ending at 8.30 am on Sunday.

Khajuraho, the famous tourist spot in Chhattarpur district, registered the lowest minimum temperature of 7.8 degrees Celsius during the same period.

Cold conditions and dry weather prevailed in Uttar Pradesh with dense fog in some parts of the state in the last 24 hours, the meteorological department said.

The lowest minimum temperature in the state was 4.4 degrees Celsius recorded at Churk observatory in Sonbhadra district.

'A 45-year-old farmer died allegedly due to cold here in a village in Kishanpur police station area while irrigating his field,' a police officer said on Sunday.

SHO of Kishanpur police station Pandhari Saroj said Kamta Nishad (45) of Mahrauli village in Uttar Pradesh had gone to irrigate his field on Saturday. After reaching his home, he became unconscious, and died even before he could be taken to a hospital.

Minimum temperatures hovered above normal limits in Punjab and Haryana and a thick blanket of fog engulfed most places in the two states, reducing visibility levels.

According to MeT, Chandigarh recorded a minimum temperature of 11.2 degrees Celsius. PTI TEAM SRY