New Delhi, Jan 3 (PTI) Cold wave conditions refused to abate in northern and eastern India, including in the desert state of Rajasthan where the mercury dipped to -1.4C in Mount Abu, as dense fog in Delhi affected flight and rail services.
A total of 24 domestic flights and 12 international flights were delayed at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi due to fog. Two domestic flights were cancelled.
More than 500 flights, both domestic and international, flying in and out of the IGI Airport have been hit since Sunday, when the city witnessed the worst fog of this season.
Poor visibility due to fog also disrupted train services.
A total of 21 trains were cancelled and 59 delayed due to fog. Thirteen trains were also rescheduled, officials said.
Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 7.4C.
Dense fog covered northern and eastern plains, including Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and parts of Odisha.
The northerly cold winds swept through Rajasthan. The mercury dipped to -1.4C in Mount Abu, the only hill station in the desert state.
In the plains of Rajasthan, Sikar was the coldest place recording a minimum of 0 degree Celsius, followed by Bhilwara which recorded a night temperature of 0.9 degrees Celsius.
Up north, Kargil town in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir recorded its coldest night this season as mercury fell more than 20 degrees below the freezing point to settle at – 20.6C, an official of the Met department said in Srinagar.
The nearby Leh town recorded a minimum temperature of – 16.6C last night, down from -14.7C the previous night.
Many areas in the Valley recorded sub-zero temperatures.
Bright sunshine during the day led to cold wave intensifying in the Valley, while a thin layer of ice has developed on many stagnant water bodies.
Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, recorded a low of -4.1C. Jammu woke up to a foggy morning as the minimum temperature nosedived to the season’s lowest at 4.3C.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, a 40-day harshest period of winter when snowfalls are frequent and the temperature drops considerably. It ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in the Valley.
The intense cold period then allows some repite during the following 20-day-long Chillai-Khurd and 10-day-long Chillai-Bachha.
In Haryana and Punjab, a thick blanket of fog and severe cold wave affected the normal life. Narnaul in Haryana was the coldest place in the two states, recording a minimum of 2.5C, a meteorological department official said in Chandigarh.
Chandigarh, the common capital, registered a low of 7C.
In Uttar Pradesh, the weather remained dry.
But chilly winds swept the state following snowfall in neighbouring hill state of Uttarakhand, a Met department official said in Lucknow, where the minimum temperature dipped to 7.3C.
The Met office has forecast that cold conditions as well as dense to very dense fog are very likely at isolated places.
The Lucknow district administration has ordered schools running classes up to XII to remain shut tomorrow.
In Odisha, the Met department in Bhubaneshwar has forecast moderate cold wave condition in parts of Odisha over the next two days due to cold winds blowing from the northeast direction and Sikkim at a speed of 25 kilometres per hour.
Phulbani was the coldest place in the state last night with a minimum temperature of 5C.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.