New Delhi, Feb 14 (UNI) Bright sunshine today greeted the people in the north-west though chilly winds swept the region in the wake of night temperatures staying 2 to 8 degrees Celsius below normal.
In Delhi, the severe cold wave being experienced by people since the beginning of the month could end in the next few days with weatherman forecasting a sharp rise in mercury towards the weekend.
The nationwide toll in the winter stood at 232 with 141 deaths in Uttar Pradesh, 35 in Jammu and Kashmir, 26 in Gujarat, 16 in Himachal Pradesh, four each in Bihar and Punjab, three in Maharashtra and one each in Bihar, Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh.
Continuing its rising trend since Tuesday, the minimum temperature rose further to 6.4 degrees Celsius even though cold Northwesterlies continued to lend chill in the air, especially in the morning. The maximum temperature also rose to 23.7 degrees, from 21.8 degrees yesterday.
A severe cold wave lashed Punjab with Amritsar and Adampur airbase, near Jalandhar, continuing to be the coldest places in the plains. The mercury hovered seven degrees below normal in the holy city.
The minimum plummeted below normal by 4 degrees at Ludhiana and three degrees at Patiala, recording 4.2 degrees and 5.6 degrees respectively.
However, the night temperature recorded an increase from 1.6 degrees to 2.6 degrees at Halwara Airforce station, near Ludhiana while the border town of Pathankot and Bathinda were cold at 4.4 degrees celsius.
The cold wave also lashed some parts of Haryana with the night temperature hovering two degrees to seven degrees below normal.
The minimum dropped to 1.0 degree, seven degrees below normal, at Narnaul in Mahendergarh district while Karnal showed 3.2 degrees and Ambala 3.4 degrees, six degrees below normal. The mercury, however, settled at 6.3 degrees at Rohtak and 6.1 degrees at Hissar.
Cold wave also swept Chandigarh and its adjoining areas even as the mercury slightly rose. The city recorded the minimum at 5.6 degrees, two degrees below normal.
In Madhya Pradesh, Rewa and Chhatarpur district's Naugaon were the state's coldest at 1 degree Celsius, though there was rise in temperature at some places. Bhopal recorded a low of 8.4 degrees, four notches below normal.
Cold wave conditions also prevailed in Himachal Pradesh with tribal areas experiencing extreme cold conditions. The mercury hovered at minus 6.5 degrees at Kalpa in tribal Kinnaur district.
However, the mercury rose at Shimla recording the minimum temperature 3.6 degrees, one degree above normal. Icy-cold winds blew across the capital town and tourist resorts of Wildflower Hall, Kufri, Naldehra and Narkanda in Shimla district.
Similarly, the day temperatures at Sundernagar, Bhuntar and Dharamshala rose to 21.2, 20 and 18.8 degrees respectively, it said.
The day temperature at Kalpa in Kinnuar district rose by over three points to 5.8 and by a few notches to 11.4 degrees in the famous tourist resort of Manali in Kullu district.
In Bihar, people in Patna and its adjoining areas continued to experience pleasant weather for yet another day today. The minimum temperature was recorded at 8 degrees while the maximum was 21.6 degrees.
In West Bengal, the mercury dipped considerably below the normal level, prompting the people to venture outdoors to enjoy the cool breeze and clear blue skies.
The minimum temperature for the day was recorded at 12.8 degrees while the maximum was 25.7 degrees, both three degrees below normal, Met officials said.
Severe cold wave conditions prevailed in some parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and at isolated places in Jharkhand, east Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Saurashtra. Cold wave conditions also prevailed in Jammu and Kashmir, Chhattisgarh and at isolated places in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, West Bengal, Sikkim, Gujarat, Vidarbha and in remaining parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
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