NEW DELHI: North India was in the grip of intense cold with 40 days of harshest winter period 'Chillai-Kalan' beginning in Jammu and Kashmir today.
Cold conditions intensified in the national capital as the maximum temperature was recorded at 15 degrees Celsius, seven notches below normal.
The minimum temperature settled two notches below the season's average at 6.4 degrees Celsius. Moisture in the air led to moderate foggy conditions in several parts of the city.
Chillai-Kalan, which begins with Winter Solstice, began with minimum temperatures rising by several degrees in Kashmir even though they continued to remain below freezing point.
The minimum temperature rose by over two degrees in Srinagar as the city recorded a low of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius, compared to the previous night's minus 4.4 degrees.
The start of Chillai-Kalan has increased the chances of first snowfall of the season in Kashmir Valley which has seen dry weather so far.
In Himachal Pradesh, bitting cold conditions continued unabated even as the state witnessed a clear day.
Mercury in tribal areas and higher hills stayed 15 to 20 degrees below freezing point while Keylong, Manali and Kalpa recorded a low of minus 7 degrees C, minus 3 degrees C and minus 1.6 degrees C respectively.
All lakes and other natural sources of water like springs, rivulets and tributaries of major rivers remained frozen in high altitude areas, causing sharp reduction in discharge of water in snow-fed Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers.
Meanwhile, authorities have managed to partially restore water supply in Kullu and Manali areas even as power supply remain erratic.(More)