New Delhi, Dec 21 (UNI) The cold wave abated from Punjab and Haryana as the night temperatures rose markedly in the twin states with Delhiites also receiving a slight respite from the severe chill.
The nationwide toll stood at 75, with Uttar Pradesh reporting 59 deaths this winter, Gujarat six, Bihar and Punjab four each and Himachal Pradesh two.
In Uttar Pradesh, eight deaths were reported from Mainpuri, Jaunpur, Kaushambi, Sant Kabirnagar, Pratapgarh and Bareilly districts.
According to the Met office, Sultanpur was the coldest place in UP, recording the minimum temperature of 5.7 degrees Celsius.
Following dense fog during early morning and late night, several long-distance trains were running late, while road traffic was also affected. The night temperature also fell considerably in Faizabad and Gorakhpur divisions.
Amritsar in Punjab recorded a minimum of 1.6 degrees. Ludhiana and Patiala reported steep hike in the minimum temperature to 8.0 degrees each.
In Haryana, the minimum increased to 6.5 degrees at Narnaul in Mahendergarh district, while Hissar registered 7.8 degrees and Rohtak 7.0 degrees.
Chandigarh also recorded an increase in the minimum temperature by two degrees.
Cold wave conditions prevailed in many areas of Himachal Pradesh where the night temperatures also stayed above normal.
A piercing cold wave swept the tribal districts of Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur and Pangi and Bharmour areas in Chamba district, where the minimum hovered below freezing point. Kalpa in Kinnaur district showed minus 1.0 degrees.
Kullu valley was under the impact of intense cold. The minimum dipped to 3.1 degrees, at Bhuntar in Kullu district. Sundernagar in Mandi district registered 2.3 degrees and Una 1.3 degrees.
Shimla and its surrounding areas also reeled under cold climatic conditions although the capital town recorded an increase in the temperature from 5.1 degrees to 7.5 degrees, three degrees above normal.
The Met office has predicted partly cloudy days in Himachal Pradesh and mainly sunny days in Punjab and Haryana during the next 24 hours.
Delhiites received slight respite from severe chill prevailing for the past five days as the minimum temperature rose to 7.2 degrees.
Patna experienced a comparatively warmer day following sudden rise in mercury by five degrees. The minimum was recorded at 10 degrees in the state capital, while the maximum temperature was 25 degrees.
In Rajasthan, an upward swing in temperature guided by southernly winds due to western disturbances provided respite to thepeople reeling under intense cold wave conditions in the state.
According to the Met department, Churu recorded the lowest minimum temperature of 3.9 degrees, Sriganganagar 4.1, Jaipur 4.4, Dabok (Udaipur) 8.6, Jaisalmer 9.6, Jodhpur 9.8, Rawatbhata 9.3, Kota 11.6, Bundi 15.2 degrees in the last 24 hours.
Met officials said cold winds from the Himalayas were blowing over the entire Northeastern region and the cold wave could intensify in the coming days.
A severe cold wave gripped Tripura as the mercury level dropped, while the local Met office predicted a further fall in the temperature during the next 24 hours.
Rains or snow are likely to occur at isolated places in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir.
Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at isolated places in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.