The chilly weather condition in the state is going from bad to worse with the state capital freezing at minus 0.2 degrees Celsius. The Lucknow temperature is almost as low as minus 1 degree recorded on January 31, 1964, i.e. 49 years ago.
Kanpur city was worse at minus 1.1 degrees Celsius (coldest in the state) even as Agra recorded minus 1 degree, Ghazipur shivered at minus 0.2 degree and Allahabad minus 0.3 degree Celsius (coldest day in 40 years). The severe cold claimed 24 more lives in the state in the past 24 hours, taking the toll this winter to 199.
The met department predicted no significant change in night temperature. "The cold wave condition would continue in most parts of the state during next 48 hours," it said.
"Fog will bring down visibility to 200 metres or less during the next 24 hours. There are also chances of ground frost in some parts of the state during next two nights," said JP Gupta, director, state met department.
On December 30 last, Lucknow had registered night temperature of 0.7 degree Celsius.
Ganjing on Tuesday was like having a ‘winter walk’ on London’s Oxford Street. And many of those waiting for a chill thrill did it — without any regrets — on a day when Lucknow recorded its lowest temperature of the season so far (-0.2). The state capital was reportedly colder than the English Capital (7 degrees), New York (4 degrees) and Shimla (0.7 degrees).
While most people struggled to come to terms with the bonenumbing cold, there were others in the state capital who enjoyed the hill station-like weather in a big way.
Amrita Dass, director, Institute of Career Studies, said: “The foggy conditions remind me of our trip to Moscow in the late 80s. We were caught off guard, as we never expected that kind of weather. From the airport, we went straight to a shop where we bought woollens and then moved around the Soviet Union.”
“We have activated the fire place in our room. What fun. Actually, this kind of weather energises me. One never feels exhausted or drained out even after a hard day’s work in office,” she said.
Jayant Krishna, regional head , Tata Consultancy Services, said: “I enjoy the smell of fog. Except for flight delays, which keep bothering me as my job demands a lot of travelling, I enjoy this weather thoroughly. Who says it is depressing? If you are wearing enough woollens and taking good precaution, you can actually enjoy winter.”
“Lucknow weather is almost like that of London, which allows you to put on the best of winter clothes, which otherwise remain buried in your wardrobe,” said Professor Nishi Pandey of Lucknow University.
While the low temperatures may be giving a kick to some, they are likely to give farmers a tough time.
The cold wave may have an adverse impact on oil seeds such as mustard as this weather is favourable for pest incidence.
Sugarcane crop might also be affected. However, wheat crop would benefit from it, said AK Shah of the Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research.