North India experienced biting cold with night-long snowfall in the upper reaches of Kashmir cutting off the valley from rest of the country for the second day today, even as the toll in the current spell of cold wave rose to 84 with eight deaths in Bihar and two in Haryana.
While light showers in parts of Rajasthan led to a further dip in temperature in the desert state, the national capital, which had a clear sky, experienced icy winds blowing from the snowcapped northern mountains though the minimum temperature rose slightly.
Traffic on the 300-km Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the arterial link between Kashmir and rest of the country, remained suspended while poor visibility at Srinagar international airport affected air operations this morning.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway was closed as heavy snow on the road between Qazigund to Banihal, 125 kms from here, rendered it slippery. The Border Roads Organisation faced difficulty in clearing the road on which some 2,000 vehicles were stranded.
Morning flights on the Delhi-Srinagar and Jammu-Srinagar sectors could not operate for the second day due to poor visibility at the airport.
In the Ladakh region, there was no let up in cold wave as mercury continued to remain sub-zero. Kargil recorded a minimum of minus 16.8 degrees Celsius while Leh recorded minus 13.6 deg C, met office said.
Qazigund in south Kashmir which recorded 20.6 mm rain and snow till 0830 hours today was the coldest place in the valley with a low of minus 5.6 deg C followed by Pahalgam at minus 4.1 deg C. In Jammu region, Banihal with night temperature of minus 0.7 deg C was the coldest place.