New Delhi : Snowfall eluded north India this Christmas despite bone-chilling cold, with sub-zero temperatures in several places. It was the coldest Christmas in Delhi in the last five years while Srinagar and Amritsar recorded their lowest minimum of the season.
Icy winds blew in the morning and evening though the day was sunny and clear in most places. The temperatures are forecast to drop further.
The minimum temperature in the national capital dropped to 2.9 degrees Celsius — five notches below average. The maximum was 20.3 degrees.
Fog reduced visibility to 400 metres in the morning. Thirty trains were delayed, 10 re-scheduled and 58 cancelled due to foggy conditions, a Northern Railway spokesperson said.
The scenic Kashmir Valley was also devoid of snowfall but the cold spell continued as the minimum temperature fell to the season’s lowest in Srinagar at minus 4.8 degrees.
At minus 16.2 degrees, Leh town in Ladakh region was the coldest in Jammu and Kashmir.
Amritsar in Punjab recorded its lowest temperature of the season at minus 0.6 degrees — five degrees below average — while Hisar in Haryana recorded a low of zero degrees. They recorded maximum temperatures of 19 and 20.4 degrees respectively.
Ludhiana and Patiala in Punjab recorded a low of 2.9 degrees each. In neighbouring Haryana, Rohtak town, which recorded a low of minus 0.8 Saturday, was warmer with a minimum temperature of four degrees.
Chandigarh recorded a low of 2.8 degrees. The maximum was 19.8 degrees.
Met officials said the temperatures over the region could fall further.
But north India’s hill stations like Shimla, Kasauli and Dharamsala are warmer compared to the plains this winter.
“The temperatures in the hills are unusually high these days due to dry conditions. Moreover, there is no fog in the hills,” Shimla’s meteorological department director Manmohan Singh said .
He said the fog generally accumulates when humidity level is 70 percent or more. In the plains, it is more. However, in the hills it’s less than 30 percent, so the sky there is crystal clear resulting in long, sunny days.
In Shimla, the minimum temperature was 6 degrees – 2.6 degrees above average. The maximum was recorded at around 17 degrees.
Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti was the coldest place in Himachal Pradesh with the night temperature at minus 6.3 degrees.