records lowest temperature in 60 years
Dew turned into
frost Wednesday as Bhopal recorded a minimum of 2.3 degrees
Celsius -- its lowest temperature in the last 60 years. The state
capital recorded a minimum of 0.6 degree Celsius
New Delhi: Biting
winter continued its assault over north and central India Thursday
with 11 more deaths in Uttar Pradesh, the minimum temperature
touching new lows in Agra and Jaipur, and Haryana and Punjab
getting paralysed in dense fog and Jharkhand reporting 45 deaths
As many as 11 deaths were reported from eastern Uttar Pradesh,
taking this winter's toll in the state to 59. With the minimum
touching as low as 0.6 degrees Celsius in Agra and the maximum not
rising above 13.6 degrees, icy conditions prevailed with hardly a
ray of sunlight piercing through the thick clouds, mist and fog in
most other places.
Thick fog hit hard air, train and road traffic with the Chandigarh
airport shut due to poor visibility and trains running behind
schedule. The fog also caused traffic jams, particularly on
highways, disrupting inter-state road traffic.
The bone-piercing cold wave has claimed over 45 lives in Jharkhand
so far this winter, with capital Ranchi recording the highest 11
deaths. Ranchi recorded a minimum of 4.2 degrees Celsius with one
of its localities, Kanke block, shivering at 0.5 degrees. In ten
of the 24 districts of Jharkhand, the temperature was below 5
In the wake of the intense cold, Chandigarh, Agra and Ranchi
extended the winter break for schools till Jan 11, Jan 10 and Jan
The markets remained deserted in the evenings. In most parts of
north India people huddled around bonfires.
Chilly winds from the northern region kept temperatures below
average in Delhi, where Thursday's maximum temperature was 14.5
degrees Celsius, six notches below the average for this time of
the season, while the minimum was at 5.3 degrees, two notches
However, Delhiites can expect some relief in the coming days.
According to the India Meteorological Department, the next few
days will see a slight rise in temperatures coupled with change in
wind direction, which will further arrest the dip in mercury
Three people have died in the national capital due to cold since
the last week of December, an official said.
The freezing cold wave continued across the Kashmir Valley and
Ladakh region with Srinagar at minus 5 degrees Celsius and Leh at
minus 16.2 degrees. However, the Met department said some relief
was expected by Saturday.
Rajasthan also reeled under bitter cold with Jaipur recording its
lowest temperature in the last 20 years at 1.4 degrees Celsius.
Jobner was shivering at zero degree Celsius while Mount Abu, the
only hill station in Rajasthan, was freezing at minus 3 degrees.
Reports of the extreme cold weather hitting standing crops like
Mustard and Jeera (cumin) also came in.
The harsh cold intensified its grip in Himachal Pradesh with
Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti district being the coldest town with a
low of minus 14.9 degrees Celsius. The Met department predicted
rain and snow at isolated places in the high hills Friday.
The day in Shimla, Bhuntar, Dharamsala, Sundernagar and Solan was
comparatively warmer due to prevailing sunny conditions. These
towns saw the maximum temperature at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 17.2
degrees, 18.6 degrees, 20.6 degrees and 20.5 degrees,
Icy winds from the northern regions kept temperatures below
average in the national capital. Delhi recorded a minimum of 5.3
degrees Celsius, two notches below average.
The mercury dipped below normal in most parts of Punjab and
Haryana. Haryana's Narnaul town was coldest with a low of 0.5
degrees Celsius, six notches below normal.
Hisar saw a sharp plunge in the mercury, at 1.8 degrees. Ambala
and Karnal towns recorded 5.3 and 3.4 degrees Celsius,
Chandigarh recorded a minimum temperature of 5.7 degrees Celsius,
three notches below average.
Kanpur was even worse with the mercury dipping to this season's
low of 3.7 degrees while the maximum stood at 8.6 degrees that was
described as 14 degrees below normal.