Cold wave: Temperature dips below freezing point in Rajasthan; yellow alert in Uttarakhand

Parts of North India witnessed severe cold wave conditions on Friday, with temperatures in some regions dropping below freezing point.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a ‘cold wave’ warning for many parts of Rajasthan. It said the minimum temperature in most districts had dipped below five degrees Celsius, with the state capital Jaipur recording 4.9 degrees Celsius last night. The minimum temperature dropped to -3.3 degrees Celsius in Fatehpur in Sikar, while it was -1.1 degrees Celsius in neighbouring Churu.

A minimum temperature of 0.3 degrees Celsius was recorded in Nagaur, 0.7 degrees Celsius in each of Sangaria and Sikar, 1 degree Celsius in Bhilwara, 1.1 degrees Celsius in Ganganagar, 1.9 degrees Celsius in Pilani and 2.7 degrees Celsius in Chittorgarh.

A yellow alert for cold waves has also been issued in Uttarakhand from December 18 to 21. According to the IMD, the lowest temperature in the state on Friday was recorded in Ranichauri (-2.7°C), Mukteshwar (0.2°C), Mussoorie (0.9°C), Pithoragarh (0.9°C), and New Tehri (1.4°C).

Meanwhile, Srinagar and many other parts of Jammu and Kashmir experienced the coldest night of the season so far as the mercury plummeted several degrees below zero across the Valley. Srinagar recorded a low of -6.0 degrees Celsius on Friday night — 2.2 degrees lesser than that of the previous night’s -3.8 degrees Celsius.

While Gulmarg resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district recorded a low of minus 8.5 degrees Celsius, becoming the coldest recorded place in the Valley, Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 8.3 degrees Celsius, the Met department said.

The cold wave conditions led to freezing of water supply lines in several parts of the Valley as well as the fringes of several water bodies, IMD said. The weather department has forecast colder nights with further fall in minimum temperature over the next couple of days.

Delhi recorded a minimum temperature of 6 degrees Celsius over the past 24 hours at the Safdarjung weather observatory, and the minimum temperature is set to dip further to around 5 degrees Celsius over the next two days, IMD predicted.

The minimum temperature in the national capital recorded over the past 24 hours is the lowest so far this season, and is two degrees below the normal for this time of the year. The maximum temperature over the past 24 hours was 20.4 degrees Celsius, which was also two degrees below the normal.

According to IMD, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Saurashtra and Kutch could witness a cold wave or a severe cold wave from December 17 to 21. A cold wave is likely over north Rajasthan from December 18 to 21, while one is predicted for west Uttar Pradesh from December 19 to 21, and Gujarat from December 19 to 20. Dense morning fog is likely over isolated parts of Punjab and Haryana on December 17 and 18. Ground frost is also on the forecast for parts of Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat over the next four days.

A western disturbance as a cyclonic circulation lies over north Pakistan and adjoining Jammu and Kashmir, according to an IMD bulletin on Thursday. Western disturbances are storms that originate in the Mediterranean region and bring winter rainfall to northwest India. “After this western disturbance moves, there is a brief gap. The next western disturbance will set in only on December 22 night,” said R. K. Jenamani, senior scientist, IMD. In this gap of five to six days, the IMD expects strong northwesterly and westerly cold winds over north India. “We did not have this wind pattern earlier. Winds were calm and light all through November. We need consistent winds to bring a fall in temperature,” he said.

–With PTI, ANI inputs

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