New Delhi, Dec 13: Cold conditions intensified in north India today as Shimla and some other popular tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh received the season's first snowfall while several areas in other states experienced light showers.
In Delhi, chilly conditions prevailed as the sky remained overcast and scattered rains occurred in some parts of the city which was swept by cold winds.
After recording the season's lowest so far yesterday at 5.1 degrees Celsius, the minimum settled two notches above the season's average at 10.4 degrees Celsius though the wind chill factor made life difficult for Delhiites. The maximum temperature was recorded two notches below the normal at 20.8 degrees Celsius.
Humidity in air oscillated between 88 and 51 per cent. In Himachal Pradesh, state capital Shimla and key tourist resorts of Manali, Narkanda, Kalpa and Sangla received first snowfall of the season, while mid and lower hills were lashed by widespread rains, breaking the prolonged dry spell.
People in Jakoo area of Shimla experienced first snowfall of the season while heavy rains lashed the main town which recorded 20 cms of rainfall. Manali, Kaza, Kalpa and Khara-Patthar received 10 to 15 cms of snow while Rohtang Pass, Kunzam Pass, Dhauladhar ranges in Kangra and Churdhar ranges in Sirmaur experienced 20 to 30 cms of snow. High-altitude tribal areas and other higher reaches in the state also experienced another spell of moderate snowfall.
The rains and snow caused sharp fall in mercury and the maximum day temperatures dropped by eight to twelve degrees in the state. About 400 vehicles, including some buses, were stranded between Rohtang Pass and Solang Nallah due to snow and stranded tourists were trying to reach Manali on foot with the help of rescue teams.
Vehicular traffic on Hindustan-Tibet National High was also hampered due to snow at Narkanda and Kufri but normal traffic was restored after few hours. Kargil district in Jammu and Kashmir recorded a low of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius, even as some parts of the state got some relief from the intense cold conditions.
Leh registered a minimum of minus 9.4 degrees Celsius while nearby Kargil town recorded a low of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius becoming the coldest recorded place in the state, local MET department officials said. Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of 0.5 degrees Celsius.