Northern region remains under grip of cold wave

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (PTI) Winter chill continued innorthern states with Kargil reeling at minus 21 deg C andtemperatures falling by two to three degrees in most placesdue to the cold wave.

Delhiites, however, enjoyed a pleasant day withmercury rising to 22.7 deg C, two degrees above normal, fromyesterday''s 20.1 deg C while the minimum was recorded at 4.4deg C.

The mercury in Kargil town in Ladakh region plunged bymore than four notches and settled at a low of minus 21 deg C,a Met department official said, adding that the nearby Lehtown recorded a minimum of minus 9.8 deg C.

Srinagar recorded a minimum of minus 5.6 deg C.

Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the coldest place in theKashmir Valley with a minimum of minus 11.7 deg C, whilePahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded minus 8.2deg C.

Kokernag and Qazigund, the gateway town to KashmirValley, were also freezing at minus 7.9 deg C and minus 8.0deg C respectively.

The Hindustan-Tibet National Highway, blocked sinceJanuary 14 after heavy snowfall, was today reopened fortraffic up to Jeory, even as the intense cold condition inHimachal Pradesh continued unabated.

The Highway remains closed beyond Bhabha Nagar, whilethe Samdoh-Kaza road is also blocked by heavy snow.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature at many placeshovered around the freezing point and the day temperaturesremained five to nine degrees Celsius below normal in mid andlower hills.

Shimla recorded a low of 2.1 deg C while Solanrecorded a low of minus 0.4 deg C, followed by Sundernagar at0.1 deg C.

Keylong and Kalpa in tribal Lahaul and Spiti andKinnaur districts recorded minus 11.4 deg C and minus 6.2deg C, respectively.

Water supply remained affected in some parts of Shimlatown and upper areas of Theog and Narkanda as water in pipesfroze after mercury dipped below zero deg C.

Kalpa and Keylong witnessed 6 cm and 4 cm of snowfalllast night, but there was no snowfall in any other part of thestate during past 24 hours, the Met office said.

The cold conditions continued in Punjab and Haryanawith the minimum temperature in most parts of the regionplummeting to upto four degrees Celsius below normal.

Dense fog engulfed several areas of the twoneighbouring states.

In the plains of Punjab and Haryana, Amritsarcontinued to be the coldest place with the mercury settling at1.2 deg C, three notches below normal.

While Karnal braved a low of 2.6 deg C, four notchesbelow normal, the minimum temperature at Hisar settled at 2.7deg C, three notches below normal.

Among other places, Ludhiana in Punjab and Rohtak inHaryana had an identical low of 3.5 deg C, three notches eachbelow normal.

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