New Delhi, Jan 15 (PTI) Heavy snowfall today threw normallife out of gear in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand even as awarmer morning greeted Delhi and plains in northern India.
Though the mercury level raised at most parts in UttarPradesh, three more people died due to cold, taking thestatewide toll to 130 this winter.
Intermittent snowfall coupled with sleet and rains cutoff several areas in Himachal Pradesh from rest of the stateand forced suspension of vehicular traffic.
The Hindustan-Tibet national highway was closed beyondSanjauli near Shimla due to heavy snowfall, which also cut offroad communication in the entire area beyond Manali in Kullu.
A large number of vehicles were stranded between Dhalli,Kufri, Narkanda and Kingal as the road is covered under 45 cmto 60 cm of snow. The flights between Shimla, Kullu and Delhiwere also suspended due to foggy conditions.
Rain coupled with sleet lashed the state capital Shimla,which also received snowfall later in the day. The minimumtemperature in the city hovered around freezing point.
While Manali received 40 cm of snow, it was 100 cm inKeylong, 160 cm in Rohtang pass and 60 cm in Kufri.
Mcleodganj near Dharamsala experienced second snowfall ofthe season with the town receiving 20 cm snow.
Vehicular traffic was badly disrupted in mid and lowerhills where heavy fog reduced the visibility to a few metres.
Heavy rains accompanied by high velocity icy winds lashedlower hills, further aggravating the cold conditions.
Bangana was the wettest in the region with 50 mm rain.
Cold tightened its grip in Uttarakhand with the higherreaches receiving heavy snowfall, while rainfall coupled withhailstorm lashing the plains.
There was heavy snowfall in Garhwal and Kumaon Himalayasincluding Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Auli,Nandadevi, Munsyari and Dharchula.
Rainfall coupled with hailstorm in lower hills and plainareas intensified the cold conditions in the state.
The state capital Dehra Dun, which also received ahailstorm followed by rainfall, recorded a maximum temperatureof 14 degree C, four notches below normal.
However, it was a warm day in Delhi with the minimumtemperature rising to 10 deg C, three notches above normal,from yesterday''s 6.1 deg C.
One death each was reported from UP''s Bhadohi, Chandauliand Maharajganj districts.
Though chill persisted in most parts of the state, abright sun in the morning gave some respite to the people fromthe biting cold.
Lucknow recorded a maximum temperature of 10 deg C, whileVaranasi recorded 11 deg C. Fatehgarh at minimum 5.7 deg C wasthe coldest place in the state. .
Cold conditions eased in Punjab and Haryana with minimum temperature rising by 7 deg C above normal in the region.
Chandigarh recorded a minimum of 12.7 deg C, up by 7notches above normal.
In Haryana, Ambala recorded a low of 12.3 deg C, sixdegrees above normal. Hisar settled at minimum 9.1 deg Cfollowed by Karnal at 11 deg C and Narnaul at 8.5 deg C.
In Punjab, Amritsar saw minimum temperature going up by 7points to settle at 9.6 deg C, while Ludhiana and Patialaregistered 9 deg C and 9.8 deg C respectively.
The 300-km-long Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, onlysurface link between Kashmir and rest of the country, remainedclosed for the second consecutive day due to heavy snowfall attwo stretches with over 400 vehicles stranding on the road.
A heavy blanket of fog enveloped Jammu -- which isreeling under chilly winds -- disrupting air, rail and roadservices.
Bikaner at minimum 5 deg C was the coldest place inRajasthan.
Elsewhere, Churu recorded a low of 6.2 deg C, Jaisalmer7.8 deg C, Dabok 8.6 deg C, Ajmer 10.2 deg C, Jaipur 10.7 degC and Kota 14.2 deg C.
Meanwhile, flight operations at Kolkata airport weredisrupted due to heavy fog. No flights could take off or landfrom till 8:00 am due to poor visibility.