NEW DELHI: With temperatures falling, an orange alert was issued by the India Meteorological Department on Tuesday for the northern plains with a forecast of a cold wave for the next four days.
A similar alert has been sounded for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry with a forecast of heavy rains.
The IMD said that the minimum temperature over the north Indian plains is likely to be below normal during this period.
"Due to the prevalence of dry north/northwesterly winds, the minimum temperature is very likely to be below normal over most parts of northwest India during next 4-5 days which are very likely to cause cold day/severe cold day conditions at some parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh & Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand during next three days.
"Cold wave/severe cold wave conditions at some parts are also very likely over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi and in isolated parts over Uttar Pradesh, north Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan during next three days," the IMD said.
Ground frost is also very likely in isolated pockets over south Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and north Rajasthan during the next two days.
The IMD said that dense to very dense fog conditions at isolated places are very likely over northwest India during the next 4-5 days.
It has issued an orange colour coded alert for Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh from January 13 to 16.
It has also sounded an orange alert for Rajasthan for January 13.
The IMD has four colour codes signifying the intensity of weather events.
While an orange alert is an indication to be prepared for likely extreme conditions, red is a warning to take action to protect life and property from extremely bad weather.
Green indicates normal conditions and yellow is for keeping a watch for a deterioration in the weather.
Due to a cyclonic circulation over the Comorin area, fairly widespread to widespread rainfall, with isolated heavy falls and moderate thunderstorms and lightning are very likely over Tamil Nadu Puducherry, Karaikal, Kerala, Mahe and Lakshadweep during next 2-3 days, the IMD said.
There will be a significant decrease in rainfall activity over these regions thereafter.
Isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is very likely over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal on January 12 and 13, the IMD added.