Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand receive snowfall; western disturbance brings rains in Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab
Several areas of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh also witnessed rainfall on Saturday. The minimum temperatures stayed above normal in most parts of Punjab and Haryana
New Delhi: Snowfall occurred in Himachal Pradesh, higher reaches of Uttarakhand and the Kashmir Valley on Saturday leading to the closure of roads, including the arterial Jammu-Srinagar national highway, while an western disturbance brought rains in the northern plains.
Rainfall also occurred in parts of Madhya Pradesh. While the western parts of the state have been receiving light showers since Thursday afternoon, the eastern parts have also started getting rains due to an upper air cyclonic circulation formed in the Arabian sea.
The maximum temperatures in the national capital was brought down by a notch on Saturday due light to moderate rains but the cloud cover led to an increase in the minimum temperature that settled at 14.4 degrees Celsius, six notches above normal.
The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for Delhi, recorded a maximum temperature of 21.8 degrees Celsius and 1.6 mm rainfall.
The rains are a result of a western disturbance passing over the Himalayas. The mercury is expected to drop by Monday with the wind direction changing to northwesterly. These winds blow from the snow-laden western Himalayas towards the plains.
Delhi's air quality, which was recorded in the "very poor" category on Saturday morning, is also likely to improve "significantly" due to stronger winds and rain.
A white blanket covered Kashmir on Saturday as all parts of the Valley received moderate to heavy snowfall, leading to the closure of roads.
Officials said rainfall along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway resulted in landslides at several places, leading to the closure of the arterial road.
Nine inches of snow has accumulated on the ground at the Jawahar Tunnel of the highway and the road is blocked at several points due to landslides following rains in Marog, Magerkote and Panthiyal.
Other roads connecting the Valley to the rest of the country have also been blocked due to snowfall, they added. Eight families were moved to safer locations after heavy rains triggered landslides in Gurmul village in Doda district of Jammu region.
The Mughal Road, an alternative route connecting Poonch and Rajouri districts in the Jammu region with south Kashmir's Shopian district, was closed for traffic on December 8 following heavy snowfall in Pee Ki Gali and adjoining areas.
The weather is improving gradually across Jammu and Kashmir and it is likely to remain overcast throughout the day in Ladakh, a weather department official said.
Tehri and Chamoli district in the higher reaches of Uttarakhand received fresh snowfall while the lower areas were lashed by rains on Saturday, intensifying cold conditions in the state.
New Tehri recorded a minimum temperature of two degrees Celsius and a maximum of 24 degrees Celsius.
The higher reaches of the hills in Chamoli district received snowfall while it rained intermittently in the lower areas throughout the day. Parts of Nanda Devi Flower Valley and Kedarnath Musk Deer sanctuary have been covered in snow.
Cold wave conditions have also intensified in Himachal Pradesh after fresh snowfall in the state. Kothi and Gondla received 30 cm snowfall each, followed by Keylong 12 cm, Manali 12 cm, Kalpa 7.5 cm and Dalhousie 4 cm.
Tribal district Lahaul-Spiti's administrative centre Keylong continued to be the coldest place in the state at minus 2.9 degrees Celsius on Saturday. Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a low of minus 1 degree Celsius.
Parts of Rajasthan recorded light rains owing to a western disturbance. The meteorological department has forecast fog in several districts of the state for the next two days. Light rain was recorded in Banswara, Kota, Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh and Jodhpur.
The minimum recorded temperature was 8.4 degrees Celsius in Sriganganagar, 9.3 degrees Celsius in Jaisalmer, 9.6 degrees Celsius in Churu, 10.3 degrees Celsius in Bikaner, 10.5 degrees Celsius in Pilani and 11.8 degrees Celsius in Phalodi.
Several areas of Punjab and Haryana also witnessed overnight rains while the minimum temperatures stayed above normal in most parts of the two states.
In Punjab, the minimum temperatures of Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala settled at 11.4 degrees Celsius, 11.6 degrees Celsius and 13 degrees Celsius.
There was very light rain at isolated places in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, while dense fog was also observed in scattered areas. The weather office said thunderstorms occurred at isolated places in the western part of the state.
State capital Lucknow recorded a minimum temperature of 15.5 degrees Celsius, while Allahabad recorded a low of 16.7 degrees Celsius and Kanpur 10.2 degrees Celsius. Banda was the coldest place in the state at nine degrees Celsius.
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