Jammu/Shimla/New Delhi: Cold wave conditions intensified in Jammu region on Wednesday as the minimum temperature in the city plummeted to the season’s lowest and Banihal, popularly known as the City of Mountains, shivered at -3.0°C, a Met department official said.
The night temperature in Jammu city was recorded at 3.5°C, a decrease of half point from a day before, the official said.
Banihal and Batote areas along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway and Bhaderwah in Doda district reeled under sub-zero temperatures.
Bhaderwah recorded a minimum of -2.1°C and Batote chilled at -1.3°C, the official said.
A cold wave is sweeping through the region for the past a few days.
The morning sun provided some relief to people in Jammu city on Tuesday as the temperature increased to 19.2°C, which was 1.2°C below the normal.
Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting the Vaishno Devi Shrine, in Reasi district recorded a minimum of 4.2°C against the previous night’s 5.0°C, the meteorological department official said.
Extreme cold wave in Leh
The cold wave sweeping Kashmir intensified Wednesday as the mercury stayed severalbelow the freezing point, resulting in frozen water bodies and water supply lines in several residential areas.
Leh town in Ladakh region recorded the lowest temperature this winter as mercury plummeted to -17.1°C last night, a Met department official said.
The nearby Kargil recorded a low of -14.4°C, he said.
Srinagar the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir which recorded the coldest night in 11 years on Monday at -6.8°C, experienced a similar minimum temperature last night at -6.7°C, the official said.
He said Qazigund the gateway town to the Valley in south Kashmir recorded a low of -5.9°C, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of -5.4°C last night.
Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of -6.4°C. The night temperature in Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra in south Kashmir, settled at -7.9°C, the official said.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the coldest place in the Valley at -9.4°C.
The cold wave has resulted in freezing of some water bodies, including the fringes of the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar, and residential water supply pipes in Srinagar and other towns of the Valley.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘°Chillai-Kalan’ the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
‘°Chillai-Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that. It is followed by a 20-day-long ‘°Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘°Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
The winter this season has been largely dry, although there was a spell of snowfall in the Valley in early November.
The prolonged dry spell has resulted in an increase in common ailments like cough, cold and other respiratory problems, especially among children and elderly people.
The weatherman has predicted rain or snowfall at isolated places in the Valley and Ladakh region on Wednesday.
The cold wave sweeping Himachal Pradesh has further intensified, with the minimum temperature dropping by a few notches in most parts of the state, the Meteorological (MeT) department said Wednesday.
The lowest temperature in the state was recorded in tribal district Lahaul and Spiti’s administrative centre Keylong at -11.1°C, Director of the MeT °Centre, Shimla, Manmohan Singh said.
Besides Manali, Solan, °Chamba, Kalpa, Seobagh, Sundernagar and Bhuntar were shivering at sub zero level during the period, Singh said.
The minimum temperature in Kalpa was recorded at -4°C, Manali at -3.4°C, Seobagh at -2.7°C, Sundernagar at -1.3°C, Bhuntar at -1°C, Solan at -0.7°C and Chamba at -0.4°C, Singh added.
However, the minimum temperature in Shimla was 2.7°C and in Dalhousie it was 1.6°C during the period, Singh told a group of reporters.
A cold wave swept through Delhi on Wednesday morning as the minimum temperature dropped to 3.6°C, the lowest this winter, the Met office said. “The minimum temperature was recorded at 3.6°C, four notches below the season’s average. It is the lowest temperature recorded so far this year,” it said.
Delhi has been reeling under a cold wave for the past a few days. On 23 December, the minimum temperature was recorded at 3.7°C. It is expected to dip to 3.0°C after 28 December.
The weatherman has predicted clear skies throughout the day on Wednesday and the maximum temperature is expected to hover around 20°C.
According to the Met department, humidity level recorded at 8.30 AM was 97%. On Tuesday, the minimum temperature had settled at 5.0°C.
Even Odisha in east not spared
Biting cold further intensified in Odisha with the mercury plummeting to 5°C in Phulbani, making it the coldest place in the state on Tuesday.
Phulbani was followed by the tourist destination of Daringibadi, also in Kandhamal district, which recorded a minimum temperature of 6°C, the meteorological centre here said.
The temperature dipped below 10°C in at least nine places in the state.
While Keonjhar recorded a minimum temperature of 7.2°C, the mercury stood at 8.6°C in Angul, 9°C in Sonepur, 9.5°C in Balasore and Titlagarh, 9.6°C in Jharsuguda and 9.8°C in Sambalpur, it said.
As most parts of the state shivered Balasore,Sundargarh and Bhawanipatna recorded minimum temperature of 10°C.
The mercury stood at 11.2°C in state capital Bhubaneswar, while neighbouring Cuttack recorded a minimum temperatuer of 11.4°C, it said.
Cold wave conditions are likely to continue for the next few days in the state. The night temperature in most areas is likely to remain around 3°C below normal during the next three days in the state, the met centre said.
In view of the cold wave conditions sweeping the state, Odisha government has asked district collectors to take steps to provide night accommodation to the homeless inside schools and public buildings, an official said.
The civic body authorities have also been asked to provide shelter to the tourists in night shelter homes.
Health department and fisheries and animal resources development departments have been asked to take care of the elderly and the livestock, he added.