Snowfall in hills, rains lash plains of North India

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New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) Fresh snowfall in the hillstates revived cold condition there, while rains drenchedlarge parts of plains, where temperature stayed near normal.

The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the only roadlink to the Valley, was today closed for vehicular trafficfollowing heavy snowfall and rains. "The highway is closed fortraffic due to heavy snowfall at Jawahar Tunnel, Banihal andPatnitop areas resulting in blockade," police said.

Srinagar experienced slight rainfall with mercuryplummeting to freezing point before dawn and rising to 7 deg Cin the day, three notches below normal.

Higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh, including Shimla,witnessed fresh snowfall and rains, reviving cold condition inthe state.

A 5 cm thick white blanket covered ''Queen of Hills''Shimla in the morning, but it was melted by succeeding rains.

Intermittent sleet brought down mercury during the day to 4.4degrees Celsius from yesterday''s reading of 10.6 deg C, whilein night it reached freezing point.

Manali recorded 15 cm of snowfall, while Bhang,Palchang and Solang Nallah ski slopes received 20 cm to 40 cmof fresh snow. The Manali-Leh Highway was blocked beyondBhang, 4-Km from Manali, after slush rendered road slippery.

Kumarsain in Shimla district was the wettest place inthe region with 50 mm of rains. MeT officials have predictedmore snowfall and rains in the region in the next four days.

Uttarakhand also experienced isolated snowfall andrains in the higher reaches, bringing down day temperature.

Almora, Chamoli, Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag, Uttarkashi, Pauriand upper reaches of Nanital in the state experiencedsnowfall.

State capital Dehradun recorded a low of 9 degreeCelsius while the maximum temperature was 22 degrees, a notchbelow normal.

In Delhi, early morning showers and partly clouded skymade the day pleasant with maximum temperature staying belownormal at 22.6 deg C, while during night the reading was 12deg C. The city received 10 mm of rainfall.

Weathermen have forecast shallow fog tomorrow in themorning with clear sky, but becoming cloudy by the evening.

The maximum and the minimum will be around 25 and 10 deg Crespectively.

In plains of Punjab and Haryana, rains lashed manyplaces with Patiala being wettest place in the regionreceiving 11.6 mm of rain. Rohtak, Gurgaon and Karnal inHaryana received rainfall of 10.2 mm, 10mm and 9mmrespectively.

Chandigarh, which received moderate rainfall, had amaximum of 22 deg C, three places below normal. In night, thereading was 11 deg C.

The are also reports of rain in west Rajasthan, withcapital Jaipur recording a high of 26 deg C and a low of 14deg C. Uttar Pradesh had mainly dry weather with Lucknowhaving a maximum of 26 deg C and a minimum of 10 deg C. PTITEAM

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