Mercury stays below normal in North India

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New Delhi, Feb 27 (PTI) Mercury stayed below normal atmost places in plains of north India, while hill statesexperienced fresh snowfall reviving cold condition there.

The Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the only roadlink to the valley, was closed for traffic for the secondconsecutive day, following heavy snowfall and rains. Thehighway has been closed at Jawahar Tunnel, Banihal andPatnitop areas besides landslides.

Over 370 vehicles, including 81 passenger vehicles,have been stranded at various points of the highway due to theclosure. Landslides have also been reported at Digdol area onthe highway, police said.

In Srinagar, pre-dawn reading was 1 degree Celsius,which rose to 9 deg C during the day.

Higher hills in Himachal Pradesh experienced freshsnowfall as intense cold wave sweeping the state continuedunabated though day temperatures rose by a few notches.

Capital Shimla had five-cm of snowing as the mercurydipped to a low of 0.6 degrees Celsius. However, the daytemperature rose significantly to 12 degrees againstyesterday''s reading of 4.4 deg C.

Tourist resort Manali was covered with a thick whitesheet as Solang, Mari, Koksar and Rohtang Pass received 30 to50 cm of snow overnight. The Manali-Leh highway has beencleared of snow up to Palchan, five-km from here, and sportsenthusiasts are making a beeline to Solang ski slopes.

The temperature in neighbouring state Uttarakhand,which witnessed isolated snowfall, was appreciably belownormal, MeT officials said. In Dehra Dun, the maximum was 17deg C and the minimum was 7 deg C.

In Delhi, temperature remained below normal, providingthe right setting for an outing. The day began with mist withminimum temperature recording at 10.1 degree Celsius, twodegrees below normal.

The maximum settled at 24.3 degree Celsius, one degreebelow normal. Weathermen have predicted similar condition fortomorrow with temperature oscillating between 10 and 26 degCelsius.

In the plains of Punjab and Haryana, pre-dawn readingremained below normal after recent spell of rains. Hisar wasthe coldest place in the two states recording a minimum of 6.9deg C, four notches below normal level.

In Chandigarh, mercury also dropped below normal withmercury settling at 8.8 deg C.

Similar condition prevailed in Rajasthan and UttarPradesh, where most of the readings were two notches belownormal. While, Jaipur recorded a high of 25 deg C and a low of14 deg C, Lucknow had maximum of 26 deg C and a minimum of 12deg C.

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