Severe cold wave conditions sweeping across north and northwest India pushed mercury to sub-zero levels at many places in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh Wednesday.
Pahalgam (-9 degrees Celsius), Churu (-1.5 degrees Celsius), Kullu (-0.2 degrees Celsius), Amritsar (1.8 degrees Celsius) and Jammu city (2.9 degrees Celsius) remained among the coldest places in north India.
Wednesday was the coldest December day for Churu since 2008, the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) temperature records stated.
Similarly, Jammu city recorded one of its coldest December days Wednesday. The plains of Jammu previously experienced such conditions in 2014 (2.4 degrees), and the city holds an all time record of 0.9 degrees in 1998.
Pahalgam last reported such a cold December in 2013, when the night temperature recorded was -9.6 degrees Celsius.
The Safdarjung observatory in New Delhi recorded 3.5 degrees on Wednesday, making it yet another cold December day this year, IMD officials said.
“Such severe conditions are as a result of the strengthening of cold and dry northerly winds blowing across north and northwest India. The minimum temperatures in north and central India will drop by 2 degrees till December 31,” the weather department said in its latest forecast.
Poor visibility due to dense fog and development of ground frost conditions are likely in Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh and Uttarakhand till the New Year.
The IMD has also warned of continuing cold wave conditions across the Indo-Gangetic plains, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and parts of Gujarat till January 1. Under the influence of the cold wave, some stations in Gujarat and Odisha have been reporting a significant drop in the night temperatures.
However, the Met department has forecast the cold wave to last over the north, central and northwest India till January 1 after which it will abate and there will be gradual rise in the minimum temperatures by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius.