Cold wave persists as night temperatures dip in region

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Chandigarh, Feb 6 (UNI) The cold wave persisted in the northwest India as night temperatures again dipped following fresh snowfall in Himachal Pradesh and scattered rain in the plains today.

The sky remained overcast at many places and a thick fog enveloped several areas in the region, including Jammu, Pathankot, Adampur, Halwara, Chandigarh, Ambala, Suratgarh, Hindon and Palam in Delhi, reducing visibility considerably at these places. The fog, however, disappeared as the day advanced.

Higher reaches in Himachal Pradesh had another spell of snowfall while lower areas of the state had rain, bringing a considerable fall in the temperature in the hilly state.

Tribal districts of Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur, Bharmour and Pangi areas in Chamba district and high hills in Kullu districts experienced a fresh snowfall.

A biting cold wave lashed tribal areas where the temperatures hovered below freezing point. Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded minus 8.7 degrees celsius.

All lakes, including Chander Tal lake in Lahaul Spiti district, and several natural water sources in tribal areas have already frozen due to extreme cold conditions.

The 13050-foot high Rohtang Pass, gateway to Lahaul Spiti district, and Dhauladhar ranges, overlooking the picturesque Kangra valley, also experienced snowfall, intensifying cold wave in Kullu and Kangra districts.

The capital town of Shimla and upper areas of Shimla district, including tourist places of Wildflower Hall, Kufri, Naldehra and Narkanda and the key tourist resort of Manali in Kullu district, also had snowfall since last night.

Icy-cold winds blew across Shimla and its adjoining areas as the minimum temperature dropped to zero degree in the capital town.

Tourists preferred to stay indoors.

The 320-km Hindustan-Tibet road was blocked at several places due to snowfall. Vehicular traffic bound for Narkanda, Chopal, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Rohroo has been diverted via Dhami. However, traffic was plying normally on the Shimla-Kalka and the Shimla-Mandi highways.

Vehicular traffic was also suspended on the Chamba-Tissa, Chamba-Bharmaur and Chamba-Banikhet roads following snowfall.

People shivered under cold wave conditions in Punjab and Haryana as the temperatures stayed low following rain at isolated places.

All Anganwari centres in Punjab have been closed for four days from today in the wake of prevailing cold wave conditions in the state.

The Minimum temperature hovered four degrees below normal at Amritsar recording 2.2 degrees Celsius, turning the holy city as the coldest place in Punjab, followed by Bhatinda registering 2.4 degrees, Halwara 4.4 degrees, Adampur 5.8 degrees, Patiala 6.1 degrees and Pathankot 7.0 degrees.

The minimum also plummeted in Haryana with Narnaul recording 2.5 degrees, four degrees belwo normal, while Hisar showed 4.4 degrees, three degrees down. Ambala and Karnal were cold at 6.0 degrees and 6.4 degrees respectively.

Chandigarh, which remained shrounded in dense fog in the morning, also recorded a fall in the temperature. The city registered the minimum at 7.4 degrees.

The Met Office predicted moderate to rather heavy rain or snow at most places in Himachal Pradesh and light to moderate rain or thundershowers at many places in Punjab and few places in Haryana during the next 48 hours. Hailstorm or thundersquall with speed exceeding 45 km per hour is likely to occur at isolated places in the region.

UNI VKJ KD HT1817

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