Temperatures dropped across northern India on Thursday following snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, with Delhi experiencing the coldest November day in five years.
Woollens were out in scores of cities and towns in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and Rajasthan as the chill from the lower reaches of the Himalayas enveloped large areas.
The tourist haven of Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir was less than four feet of snow, Sonmarg reported two feet of snow and there was 1.5 feet of snow in Kargil, along the state's border with Pakistan.
The Srinagar-Leh highway was shut due to snowfall, as were several smaller roads in the state. A blanket of snow covered mountains.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar dropped to 1 degree Celsius on a cold and dry day, officials said.
Keylong in Himachal Pradesh recorded minus 5.4 degrees Celsius as temperatures plummeted across the hill state following snow and rain, the meteorological office said.
Meteorological Office director Manmohan Singh said the minimum temperature on an average fell by 8-9 degrees Celsius across the state. More snowfall has been projected.
With a drop of seven degrees in the average maximum temperature, Delhi Thursday witnessed the coldest November day in the last five years. The minimum temperature was four degrees above the average at 15.6 degrees Celsius.
The skies were overcast through the day with a light drizzle in parts of the capital. The weatherman credited the chill also due to rains triggered by Cyclone Phyan that hit the southern and western coasts Wednesday.
Residents of Chandigarh and the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana shivered due to the fall in temperature. "We are expecting clouds to remain in the region for the next few days. It has lowered both day and night temperature by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius," Chatar Singh Malik, head of the Meteorological Centre in Chandigarh, told IANS.
Lucknow and many parts of Uttar Pradesh reported cloudy skies and light drizzle. The minimum temperature in the state capital was 15 degrees Celsius. "This is unusual for this time of the season," said a resident, Chetan Mishra.
Ganganagar was the coldest place in Rajasthan, with a minimum temperature of 8.5 degrees Celsius. Amid a drizzle, temperature across the desert state dropped by 7 to 9 degrees.