Weather Forecast Today: Biting cold wave persists as the mercury continued its downward trend across north India Friday. While Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 4.2 degrees Celsius and maximum temperature of 13.4 degrees Celsius on Friday, the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) has predicted that this December could be the second coldest in 118 years in the national capital as temperatures are predicted to drop further.
The cold wave also continued in Kashmir as Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season with the temperature in the city coming down to a freezing minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, MeT Office said on Friday. Owing to clear sky, the minimum temperature across Kashmir and Ladakh remained several degrees below the freezing point, an official of the Meteorological Department said.
According to the IMD, due to persistence of cold northwesterly winds in lower levels over northwest India and other favourable meteorological conditions, cold to severe cold conditions are very likely in many pockets over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and in isolated pockets over north Rajasthan, north Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Bihar during the next two days. The cold day conditions over north India are likely to reduce substantially from December 29 and abate from December 31 onwards, the IMD added.
The weather department also predicted dense to very dense fog in many pockets over East Uttar Pradesh, in some pockets over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and West Uttar Pradesh and dense fog in isolated pockets over Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim and Odisha in the morning hours.
In Delhi, between 1901 and 2018, only four Decembers have had average maximum temperature below 20 degrees Celsius, an IMD official said. This December, the mean maximum temperature recorded as of Thursday was 19.85 degrees, with the IMD expecting the average of the entire month to come to 19.15 degrees.
“If this happens, it will be the second coldest December since 1901 — after 1997 when the average maximum temperature was 17.3 degrees,” the official said.
The average maximum temperature has been below or equal to 20 degrees in 1919 (19.f8 degrees), 1929 (19.8 degrees), 1961 (20 degrees) and 1997 (17.3 degrees). On Thursday, the maximum temperature recorded was 13.4 degrees Celsius, 8.2 degrees Celsius lower than normal.
In the plains, Fatehpur town in Rajasthan’s Sikar district recorded season’s lowest night temperature at minus 3 degrees Celsius. The Drass belt of Kargil district was the coldest place in the twin Union Territories of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh recording a minimum temperature of minus 30.2 degrees Celsius.
In Rajasthan’s other places too, night temperatures dipped 1 to 5 degrees Celsius at many places. Severe cold conditions with dense fog threw normal life out of gear in the Shekhawati area, comprising Churu, Sikar and Jhununu districts and nearby areas.
The hill station of Mount Abu recorded 1 degrees while Churu, Vanasthali, Bikaner, Ganganagar and Ajmer had night temperatures of 1.3, 3.2, 3.7, 3.9 and 5.5 degrees Celsius respectively. The minimum temperature in Jaipur was 5.8 degrees Celsius.
In Punjab and Haryana too, cold wave intensified as the minimum and maximum temperatures further plummeted in the two states. The severe cold wave and foggy weather conditions will continue to prevail in the two states over the next three days, the MeT said.
The prevailing severe cold in Chandigarh on Thursday broke yet another record as it slipped further to 8.8 degrees Celsius. Officials said it was the lowest maximum temperature record for Chandigarh city at least since 2009.
While Narnaul in Haryana was the coldest place with the mercury dropping to 2.5 degrees Celsius while Hisar recorded a minimum of 3.3 degrees Celsius, Bathinda was the coldest place in Punjab recording a low of 4 degrees Celsius. Faridkot (4.5), Ludhiana (6.6), Patiala (6.4), Halwara (5.8), Adampur (6.8), Pathankot (6.4) and Amritsar (6.5) too experienced a cold night.
In Uttarakhand, the weather department said that most places are likely to receive rainfall or snowfall on January 1 and January 2.
Minimum temperatures across Kashmir and Ladakh remained several degrees below the freezing point with Srinagar recording its coldest night at minus 5.0 degrees Celsius, according to the MeT department. According to MeT, the minimum temperature in winter capital Jammu settled at 6.4 degrees Celsius, 1.8 notches below the season’s average. The maximum temperature in Drass was recorded at minus 13 degrees Celsius while Leh had a low of minus 18 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam, in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, was the coldest recorded place in the valley at minus 12.7 degrees Celsius while Gulmarg and Kupwara township of north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 11.2 and minus 5.6 degrees Celsius respectively.
Katra, which serves as the base camp for pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district of Jammu region, recorded 3.2 degrees Celsius, the official said, adding that Bhadarwah township of Doda district was the coldest place in the region with a minimum recorded temperature of minus 2.7 degrees Celsius, followed by Banihal at minus 2.2 degrees temperature.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’– the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
In Himachal Pradesh, the weather remained dry and cold with the minimum temperature settling 2 to 3 degrees Celsius below normal at many places, the MeT said. Low visibility due to dense fog was observed in the plains and lower hills, including Una and southwestern part of Kangra district. The MeT office has predicted snowfall in middle and high hills of the state on December 31 and January 1.
The lowest temperature in the state was recorded in Keylong at minus 14.7 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature in state capital Shimla and tourist hotspot Dalhousie was 1 and 1.7 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Isolated places in the middle and high hills in the state are likely to receive rain and snowfall on December 31 and January 1, the weatherman said, according to PTI. Dense fog and cold day conditions are likely in plains and low hills on Friday, he added.
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