Delhi feels the chill as cold conditions grip north India
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Delhi feels the chill as cold conditions grip north India

The minimum in Kargil’s neighbouring Leh and Gulmarg was minus 9.6.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2017 23:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent, New Delhi
Kashmir Valley,Kargil,Srinagar
A Kashmiri shepherd leads a flock of sheep after a snowfall on the outskirts of Srinagar on December 13. (AFP)

Delhi shivered under severe cold conditions on Saturday as winter took a firm grip across north India, plunging the mercury to 1.8 degrees Celsius at Churu in Rajasthan, the meteorological department said.

However, the coldest places in India on Saturday were in Jammu and Kashmir — Kargil recording a minimum of minus 11.2 degrees Celsius, Leh minus 9.6 degrees Celsius and Srinagar minus 1.1 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature recorded in the national capital was 8 degrees Celsius, one degree above the season’s coldest on Friday. The maximum was recorded at 20.8 degrees Celsius, two degrees below the average.

Though the weather is likely to be slightly warmer from Monday, Met officials said, they added that the minimum temperature will hover around seven-eight degrees for the next three days.

“The north-westerly winds are coming from the direction of Jammu and Himachal Pradesh at present. In a span of 24 hours, this wind direction will change and become westerly and the wind will come from Pakistan and Punjab,” said Kuldeep Srivastava, a senior Met department scientist.

He said the sky will remain clear on Sunday with the maximum and minimum temperatures expected to be around 20 and 7 degrees Celsius respectively. However, the cold weather and wind have helped reduce Delhi’s notorious pollution to a great extent with a clear blue sky visible to the city’s residents after weeks of thick smog.

Saturday’s average Air Quality Index clocked 218, which is still in ‘poor’ category but far better than the extreme conditions barely weeks ago.

The AQI – which measures the level of pollutants in the air -- is calculated on a scale of 0-500.

Across the northern plains, a thick blanket of fog affected the movement of road and rail traffic in the region.

In Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh the mercury dipped over the last few days due to rain and snowfall in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Dec 16, 2017 12:07 IST