Several locations in Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh witnessed subzero minimum temperatures on Monday, while severe cold conditions prevailed in other northern states, as the region braced for still colder days with the IMD forecasting the mercury to slide further. In the national capital, which was swept by cold winds, the minimum temperature dropped to single-digit to settle at 8.4 degrees Celsius, down from 11.5 degrees Celsius Sunday.
The maximum temperature also dropped to 19.4 degrees Celsius, four notches below normal, and the lowest so far this month. The India Meteorological Department in a bulletin said minimum temperatures over most parts of northwest India are expected to fall by three to five notches during the next four days, leading to colder weather conditions still.
Large parts of north India are already witnessing foggy conditions. However, no significant change has been forecast over most parts of Central and East India during the next two-three days, but it can fall by up to four notches thereafter, the IMD said. The weather department also said severe cold day conditions were observed on Monday in many pockets over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, the epicenter of the ongoing farmers' protest against the new agriculture-related laws.
In Jammu and Kashmir, as the minimum temperature at most places across the Valley settled below the freezing point on Monday, the ski-resort of Gulmarg was the coldest recorded place in the union territory at minus nine degrees Celsius. Jammu recorded the coldest day of the season on Monday with the maximum temperature dipping to 11.6 degrees Celsius — 9.8 degrees below normal during this time of the season. Most places in the Kashmir valley, with the exception of Qazigund town in the south, recorded subzero night temperature owing to a clear sky, the Meteorological department said.
They said Qazigund the gateway town to the valley recorded a minimum of 0.3 degrees Celsius. Srinagar, the summer capital of the union territory, recorded a low of minus 1.4 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in the north, registered a low of minus 1.3 degrees Celsius and Kokernag in the south, recorded minus 1.1 degrees Celsius, the officials said. In Himachal Pradesh, Keylong, Kalpa and Manali shivered at subzero temperatures, despite dry weather since Sunday. Lahaul-Spiti's administrative centre Keylong was the coldest place in the state at minus 11 degrees Celsius. Kalpa in Kinnaur district and Manali in Kullu recorded a low of minus 3.7 and minus 1.6 degrees Celsius, respectively. The minimum temperature in Dalhousie and Kufri was recorded at 2 and 3.3 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh witnessed dry weather conditions with cold day conditions and fog in few places of the state. State capital Lucknow recorded a minimum temperature of 10.9 degrees Celsius, while Allahabad recorded a low of 15 degrees Celsius.
Bareilly, Aligarh and Muzaffarnagar recorded a minimum temperature of 9.2 degrees Celsius each, while Banda recorded 9.4 degrees Celsius. Najijababad and Bahraich saw the mercury falling to 9.0 degrees Celsius, while Etawah witnessed minimum temperature dipping to 8.6 degrees Celsius. Meerut was the coldest place in the state, where the mercury touched 8.0 degrees Celsius.
Cold weather conditions prevailed in many parts of Haryana and Punjab on Monday, with Hisar (Haryana) recording a low of 6.2 degrees Celsius, while Narnaul too experienced a cold night at 6 degrees Celsius. Bhiwani recorded a low of 6.4 degrees Celsius while Rohtak's low settled at 8 degrees Celsius.
However, minimum temperatures at Karnal and Ambala hovered slightly above normal limits at 10.8 degrees Celsius and 9.5 degrees Celsius, respectively. In Punjab, Amritsar experienced a cold night at 5.6 degrees Celsius. Gurdaspur and Bathinda, too, experienced the chill recording respective minimums of 7.2 degrees Celsius and 8.6 degrees Celsius.
Ludhiana and Patiala, however, recorded slightly above normal minimums at 10.2 degrees Celsius and 10.1 degrees Celsius, respectively. Mercury dipped below the freezing point in Mount Abu, the sole hill station of Rajasthan, where the night temperature was 0.4 degrees Celsius.
In the plains, Sikar was the coldest place with a minimum of 4.5 degrees Celsius, according to the Meteorological department here on Monday.