Most parts of Punjab and Haryana experienced intermittent rainfall from Saturday night right into the morning on Sunday, bringing cheer to farmers as the weather is good for wheat, vegetables and fruits.
Though the chill seemed to have deepened and winter apparently made its arrival known finally, minimum temperatures in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh remained above normal.
In Himachal Pradesh, heavy snowfall followed overnight rain, crippling normal life in the higher reaches with electricity supply disrupted, roads blocked, air connection cut off and examinations postponed. There is now hope of a snowy Christmas, which has been elusive since 1991, though at present the snow is proving more of a hindrance in daily commodity supply.
Shimla saw the minimum temperature recorded barely above the freezing point, at 0.4 degree Celsius. The picturesque Kalpa, 250km from Shimla, was the coldest in the state with a low of -2.8.
Meanwhile, more than 600 tourists stuck in the hills overlooking the tourist resort of Manali due to snow were rescued, an official said on Sunday. Eighteen people were still stranded and provided accommodation at Marhi, 35km from Manali.
In the foothills, Chandigarh’s minimum temperature was at 10.4 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal, on Sunday morning.
In Haryana, Ambala (11.7), Hisar (13.7) and Karnal (13) were five to six degrees above normal too. In Punjab, Amritsar recorded a low of 8.6, still five degrees above normal. Meteorological department officials said the weather would continue on this trajectory of sporadic rainfall and snow for a few days.