A respite from the cold conditions in the north, mercury slightly

NEW DELHI: On Thursday there was a respite from a long period of cold conditions that cooled the bones in the northern plains, with mercury rising marginally throughout the region, but in some places, even though Shimla received snowfall.

The national capital recorded a maximum temperature above normal for the second consecutive day on Thursday after remaining under the control of a prolonged period of cold, the longest since 1992.

The city recorded a maximum of 23 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal and a minimum of 4.6 degrees Celsius, three degrees below normal.

On Wednesday, Delhi recorded a maximum of 20.5 degrees Celsius, a notch above normal. It was the first time in 23 days that the maximum temperature was above normal in the national capital.

The minimum temperature is also expected to rise to 7 degrees Celsius in the next two days, weather experts said.

However, pollution levels in the city remained severe (AQI 417) on Thursday. Light rains were expected on Thursday, but clouds escaped to the national capital. Another western disturbance is expected to cause rains in the city at any time between January 6 and 8, said Mahesh Palawat, vice president (meteorology and climate change), Skymet Weather, a private forecaster, he said.

The cold wave persisted in Himachal Pradesh with several places of tourist attraction in the state shaking at freezing temperatures. Snowfall occurred in Shimla on Thursday night.

The meteorologist has forecast snow and rain in many places of high and medium hills of the state and torrential rains in the plains until the next seven days.

The minimum temperatures were one to two notches below normal, while the maximum temperatures were two to three notches below normal.

Kufri, Manali, Keylong and Kalpa in the state trembled at freezing temperatures.

Keylong recorded the lowest temperature in the state at minus 11 degrees Celsius. Kalpa in the Kinnaur district recorded a minimum of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, while Kufri and Manali trembled at minus 2.6 and minus 1.4 degrees Celsius, respectively. The minimum temperature in Shimla and Dalhousie was 1.7 degrees Celsius each.

The people of Uttar Pradesh had a respite from cold weather conditions since the sun was shining in most of the state. According to the Meteorological Department, the minimum temperature in Meerut and Bahraich was set at 6.7 degrees Celsius and 7.4 degrees Celsius, respectively, since Wednesday.

The state capital, Lucknow, registered a minimum of 8.6 degrees Celsius. The weatherman forecast rain and thunderstorms in the eastern districts of the state for Friday.

In Rajasthan, some places witnessed dense fog. Banasthali was the coldest place in the state with a minimum temperature of 3.3 degrees Celsius, followed by 3.4 degrees Celsius in Fatehpur.

Mercury was established at a minimum of 4 degrees Celsius at Mount Abu, 4.2 at Bikaner, 4.4 at Sriganganagar, 5.5 at Pilani and Jaisalmer, 6.2 at Churu, 8.2 at Barmer, 8.5 at Sikar, 9.6 at Swai Madhopur, 10.3 at Jodhpur and 10.5 each in Ajmer and Jaipur.

The maximum temperature in most places was recorded between 12.6 and 22.6 degrees Celsius.

Sriganganagar, however, recorded a maximum temperature of 8.2 degrees Celsius.

Churu, Sriganganagar, Bikaner, Sikar, Bharatpur, Dausa, Dholpur, Kota and Jhalawar witnessed a dense fog.

Also in Kashmir, minimum temperatures rose slightly throughout the Valley, even when the department of Met forecast rain and snowfall as of Thursday.

The minimum temperature rose on Thursday throughout the Kashmir valley due to a cloud cover.

The city of Srinagar recorded the minimum of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, compared to minus 4.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The official said the Gulmarg ski resort in northern Kashmir recorded the minimum of minus 8.6 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, almost four degrees more than last night minus 11.0 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg continued to be the coldest place recorded in the valley, he added.

The nighttime temperature at the Pahalgam complex, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra in southern Kashmir, was set at a minimum of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius, compared to minus 6.9 degrees Celsius, he said.

Punjab and Haryana also witnessed cold wave conditions with Narnaul (Haryana) registering a minimum temperature of 1.3 degrees Celsius, three levels below normal, an official said.

The minimum temperatures remained a few notches below normal in several places.

Among other places in Haryana, the minimum temperatures in Ambala, Hisar and Karnal were 5.5, 3.5 and 4.6 degrees Celsius respectively, up to three degrees below normal, the official said.

Rohtak and Sirsa defied the cold at 4.4, 6.3 and 4.9 degrees Celsius respectively.

In Punjab, Faridkot recorded a minimum of 2 degrees Celsius. Pathankot, Adampur, Halwara, Bathinda and Gurdaspur trembled at 5.5, 3.2, 3.8, 3.1 and 6.7 degrees Celsius respectively, the official said.

Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala experienced cold wave conditions at 3, 4.8 and 5.4 degrees Celsius respectively.

Chandigarh recorded a minimum temperature of 6.1 degrees Celsius, a notch below normal. The fog was witnessed in some places, including Faridkot and Narnaul.

Meanwhile, the meteorologist said that Odisha is likely to experience rainfall in its inland and coastal regions in the next two days.