The mercury dropped several notches in Kashmir on Friday as there was no let up in the cold conditions in most parts of north India, while the weatherman predicted snowfall in the hill states and rains in the plains from Monday.
The minimum temperature in Delhi settled at 8.2 degrees Celsius as cold winds swept the city in the morning improving its air quality which stood in the 'moderate' category. Delhi's maximum temperature was recorded at 21.1 degrees Celsius while the relative humidity oscillated between 75 per cent and 45 per cent.
Cold wave tightened its grip on the Kashmir valley as night temperatures witnessed drop of several degrees at most places owing to a clear sky, a meteorological department official said.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar dropped nearly six notches from minus 0.5 degree Celsius a day before to settle at minus 6.1 degrees Celsius. The mercury in Qazigund settled at a low of minus 8.2 degrees Celsius, a decrease of nearly eight notches from the previous night's minus 0.4 degree Celsius.
The night temperature at Pahalgam in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 13.4 degrees Celsius as against minus 12.2 degrees Celsius a day before. It was the coldest recorded place in the Valley.
Gulmarg in north Kashmir registered a minimum of minus 11 degrees Celsius. The night temperature in Kokernag dropped over four degrees to settle at a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in north recorded a low of minus 9.6 degrees Celsius – a decrease of four notches from the previous day.
Another hilly state of Himachal Pradesh witnessed dry and cold weather with the popular tourist destinations of Kufri and Manali recording minimum temperatures below the freezing point.
The minimum temperature in the state was one to two notches below the normal while the maximum was recorded at two to three degrees Celsius above the normal since Thursday. Tribal district Lahaul-Spiti's administrative centre Keylong was the coldest place in the state at minus 15 degrees Celsius.
Dalhousie and Shimla recorded their respective minimum temperatures at 0.8 degrees Celsius and 4.5 degrees Celsius respectively, the meteorological department said, adding the highest temperature in the state was in Solan at 23 degrees Celsius.
In Punjab and Haryana, minimum temperatures continued to hover below normal limits with Amritsar and Halwara reeling under severe chill 3.2 degrees Celsius and 3.1 degrees Celsius respectively. Adampur and Faridkot recorded minimum temperature of 4 degrees Celsius each.
Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a low of 7.7 degrees Celsius, a meteorological department official said here.
Intense cold prevailed in Karnal and Hisar in Haryana, both of which recorded minimum temperature at 5.4 degrees Celsius. Ambala and Sirsa each recorded a low of 6.5 degrees Celsius.
Night temperatures dipped by one to two notches in parts of Rajasthan where Churu was the coldest place recording a low of 3.2 degrees Celsius. Dabok, Bikaner, Kota recorded their minimum temperatures at 4.7 degrees Celsius, 6 degrees Celsius and 7.2 degrees Celsius while Jaipur and Ajmer both recorded a low of recorded 7.4 degrees Celsius.
The weather was dry in most parts of Uttar Pradesh with isolated places witnessing dense fog. Muzaffarnagar was the coldest place in the state at 4.2 degrees Celsius, while Etawah recorded the highest temperature at 24.8 degrees Celsius.
In the east, the weatherman has forecast a dip in minimum and maximum temperatures in West Bengal by more than a couple of notches owing to northwesterly winds. There is a likelihood of light rain in the state on January 27 and 28.
Darjeeling town was the coldest place in the state at 1.8 degrees Celsius, followed by Kalimpong, also in the Himalayan region, at 6 degrees Celsius. In the plains, Coochbehar in north Bengal was the coldest at 7.1 degrees Celsius.
According to the India Meteorological department, a fresh and active western disturbance is very likely to affect the western Himalayan region from the night of January 27. It is very likely to cause rain and snowfall over the region, including Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh.
Rain is likely in most of northern and eastern parts of the country and north Madhya Pradesh next week, the weatherman said.