The mercury went into a free fallin northern India as temperatures plummeted across the region with the minimum hitting a new low in Delhi while Srinagar experienced its coldest night of the season.
The national capital recorded its lowest minimum in a decade for the month of December as the mercury dipped to a chilly 2.4 degrees Celsius this morning, five degrees below normal. The minimum on Sunday was at 4.5 degrees.
A thick blanket of fog accompanied by icy winds had the city shivering in the early hours with the maximum temperature in the last 24 hours recorded at 19.5 degrees, a notch below normal.
Minimum temperatures across the Kashmir and Ladakh regions took a tumble with several places, including Srinagar, recording their coldest night this season.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, saw the mercury dropping to -5.3 degrees from -3.7 degrees registered the night before.
Kargil in Ladakh was the coldest place in the state with the mercury at -18.9 degrees while Leh recorded its lowest minimum this winter at -17.7 degrees.
Himachal Pradesh appeared set for a 'White New Year' with the higher reaches of the state experiencing another spell of mild snowfall even as the mercury hovered around freezing point in the middle and lower hills.
The tribal areas of Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur districts received mild snowfall which caused a further drop in the mercury with the minimum ranging between -12 and -20 degrees in those parts. Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti and Kalpa in Kinnaur recorded lows of -8.9 and -5 degrees, respectively.
The sky remained partially overcast and icy, strong velocity winds swept the region, making the conditions favourable for rainfall and snow.
The weatherman, too, hinted at a likelihood of rainfall or snow at several places in the middle and higher hills over the coming 48 hours.
Punjab and Haryana were grappling with the freezing cold with most places across the two neighbouring states seeing the mercury sliding to the season's lowest.
Adampur in Jalandhar district of Punjab was the coldest place across the two states with the mercury settling at -2.4 degrees, the season's lowest there, which was six notches below normal.
Narnaul and Hisar in Haryana reeled under sub-zero temperatures of -0.5 and -0.1 degrees, respectively, both down seven notches from the normal. Bhiwani experienced the season's coldest night at 0.8 degrees.
The Union Territory of Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a low of 3.4 degrees, three notches below normal.
Neither was there any respite from the cold in Rajasthan where icy winds and fog continued to affect normal life.
Churu was the coldest place in the state with a minimum of -1 degree.
The Hadoti region of Rajasthan, covering Kota, Anta, Baran, and Bundi, received scattered rainfall this morning as a fresh western disturbance hit the eastern parts of the state.
A state agriculture department official said that the showers would be beneficial for standing rabi crops, especially wheat and mustard.
Meanwhile, cold winds today claimed the life of a patient who left Jaipur's SMS hospital without permission and was later found dead in a street near his residence, police said.
The deceased, identified as Pyarelal (45), was a senior policeman.
The weatherman said that no respite from icy winds is expected in the coming 24 hours as inclement conditions would continue over the north-eastern parts of the state.
Parts of Uttar Pradesh continued to reel under the cold wave with fog disrupting normal life at isolated places.
Night temperatures fell across the Gorakhpur, Meerut, Lucknow, Varanasi, Faizabad, Allahabad, Kanpur and Bareilly divisions with Muzaffarnagar recording the lowest minimum in the state at 0.3 degrees.