The winter season is slowly enveloping most parts of India, even though several states below the Tropic of Cancer traditionally don't experience extreme cold temperatures. While Jammu and Kashmir has been recording sub-zero temperatures, citizens in Tamil Nadu are likely to feel a nip in the air after sun sets down.
Jammu and Kashmir
In Jammu and Kashmir, the harshest days of the winter season last around 40 days. The state is already facing the brunt of the weather, known in the local parlance as Chillai-Kalan, since 21 December.
The cold wave sweeping Kashmir intensified on Thursday, as temperature stayed several degrees below freezing point, resulting in frozen water bodies and water supply lines in several residential areas.
Leh town in Ladakh region recorded its lowest temperature of the winter on Wednesday night, at minus 17.1 degrees Celcius, a Met department official told NDTV. The nearby Kargil recorded minus 14.4 degrees Celcius, he said.
According to a report from The Indian Express, the Dal lake partially froze on Tuesday amid the cold wave. This came a day after Srinagar recorded its coldest night in 11 years, with temperatures plunging to minus 6.8 degrees Celcius.
However, the winter this season has been dry so far. Although there was a spell of early snowfall in the Valley in the first and second weeks of November, the meteorological office has forecast dry weather till Wednesday, 2 January 2019.
Extreme cold wave conditions continued to prevail in most parts of Uttarakhand as the temperature plummeted to sub-zero level in more than six towns in the state, an official said on Thursday.
The regional weather department said the weather would continue to be harsh for the next three days and gutsy chilly wind would continue to bring down the mercury.
The cold wave is likely to intensify in Haridwar, Rishikesh and Udhamsingh Nagar.
State capital Dehradun is also reeling under cold wave with the mercury recording a three-year low of 4.2 degrees Celsius. While the days are sunny, early morning and evening remain extremely cold. Landslides have been also reported from an area near Banswada in Rudraprayag on the Kedarnath highway. Also, the fog has affected the road and rail traffic. Several trains were running hours behind their schedule, and a few were cancelled due to bad weather.
The cold also seeped into neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, with large icicles surfacing in large parts of state capital Shimla. The minimum temperature remained close to sub-zero on Wednesday, the meteorological department said, indicating the onset of a harsh winter ahead.
The weathermen also forecast crystal clear skies with chilly nights till the new year dawns.
Manmohan Singh, Director of the Meteorological Office in Shimla, told IANS there would be no chance of snowfall till 31 December. The western disturbance was likely to get active from 3 January with chances of rain and snow, he said.
Hill destinations have been experiencing long hours of sunny weather for over a fortnight and the day temperatures in most places have risen.
The river Chandra has also partially frozen over in light of the cold wave.
— ANI (@ANI) December 26, 2018
The IMD has predicted clear skies throughout the day in Delhi, while the maximum temperature is expected to hover around 20 degrees Celsius. The National Capital on Wednesday experienced its coldest day of the past 12 years, with the minimum temperature dropping to 3.7 degrees Celsius.
According to a Hindustan Times report, temperatures are expected to dip to 3.0 degrees Celsius after 28 December. Officials also predicted shallow to moderate fog intensity. "Wind speeds might increase, reducing the chances of dense fog,” a Met official said.
Flight operations were partially suspended at the Delhi airport on Christmas day due to low visibility conditions. Flight delays and cancellations are common at the Delhi airport during the winter months when foggy conditions reduce visibility to unsafe levels.
Apart from air traffic getting affected, train and road movements are also severely impacted each year due to fog. Road accidents are also frequent. On Monday morning, eight people died in a 50-vehicle pileup near Haryana's Jhajjar.
Moving southwards, temperatures over Maharashtra are also expected to drop around 28 December, according to the latest forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
As per a report from The Indian Express, western disturbances are likely to form around 28 December and associated cold conditions are likely to arise, mainly over northern parts of Maharashtra. In the next 48 hours, nighttime temperatures for Pune are likely to reach around 10 degrees to 11 degrees Celsius, the report said.
In Mumbai, the Colaba observatory of the IMD recorded a minimum temperature of 20.5 degrees Celsius, and the Santacruz observatory recorded 17.4 degrees Celsius. This was a 2 degree temperature drop over Tuesday, The Times of India reported.
IMD, Pune's head of weather Anupam Kashyapi told The Indian Express of a slight drop in both the maximum and minimum temperatures over most parts of Maharashtra, mainly along the northern areas of Madhya Maharashtra, Vidarbha and Konkan.
"This effect is likely to last till 30 December or even up to 1 January. Cold wave conditions may be experienced in isolated pockets over these areas during the year-end," he said.
Northeasterly winds blowing over the Bay of Bengal into Chennai are resulting in chilly evenings for the city, The Times of India reported.
The city recorded a maximum temperature of 30 degrees Celsius and a minimum temperature of 25.9 on Tuesday. However, the minimum temperature has increased by 4.4 degrees from normal, shows a reading by the weather department.
In addition, the IMD said cold wave conditions are likely to expand over some parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh starting Wednesday. The weather agency said that northerly/northwesterly light to moderate winds is likely to prevail over the northern plains over the next few days.
"Northerly/northwesterly light to moderate winds is likely to prevail over northern plains during next two to three days. Due to remnant moisture over parts of northwest India shallow to moderate fog likely over some parts of northwest India during next 24 hours. Minimum temperatures very likely to fall by two to three degrees Celsius over many parts of northwest and central India during next two to three days," the IMD said in a bulletin.
"There can be dry weather conditions to continue with further fall in day and night temperatures. Cold wave conditions will cover some more parts of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, north Rajasthan," said Skymet, a private weather forecast agency.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Dec 27, 2018 10:13:56 IST