Mercury to dip in Delhi; Kashmir, Shimla continue to shiver


New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) The national capital, which saw a rainy Friday morning, is set to get colder on Saturday due to the after-effects of the record snowfall in Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

According to the forecast of India Meteorological Department (IMD), the minimum temperature in Delhi will drop to 9 degrees Celsius on Saturday against 13.5 degrees on Friday.

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“The minimum temperature will drop on Saturday, but the daylight will be good and the maximum temperature will improve. Minimum temperature will rise from Sunday onwards,” said an IMD official.

In Kashmir valley, bad weather continued affecting transport, water and electricity supply, though the air transport resumed.

Cutting it off from the rest of world, snowfall at various places in the Kashmir valley continued for the fourth consecutive day, even though the IMD forecast improvements on Friday and beyond.

While no vehicular movement was allowed on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway until a review on Friday afternoon, the flight operations resumed from Srinagar airport after four days, due to improvement in visibility.

“We are waiting here for the last four days. Road to the Valley has been shut due to snowfall and rains at some places. It’s still manageable to drive amid snow, but during rains, the road becomes very dangerous.

“Officials have told us that roads will be opened tomorrow (Saturday) morning,” said Sajjad Ahmed Bhat, a Verinag (Anantnag district)-based driver stranded in Jammu, said.

Srinagar on Friday saw 0.8 degree Celsius minimum temperature amid rain and snowfall. In Pahalgam, mercury dipped to minus 2.2 degrees and it received 36.6 mm rain and 23 cm snow during the same period, breaking records of 2006 and 1992. Gulmarg experienced minus 4 degrees Celsius, recorded 40.2 mm rain and 41 cm snow.

“The Valley had not experienced this much cold in the last 10 years. We light the ‘hamam’ (fire lit in a quarry-like room for warmth during winters) every year, much less last year, but this year it was kept lit most of the time,” Gulam Hasan Bangroo, a ‘hamami’ at a mosque in Hyderpora in Srinagar, told IANS.

Weather in Jammu, the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, however, improved on Friday.

“In morning, the sky was clear, good daylight, but towards the evening it got clowdy and cold winds started blowing. It became a little chilly in the evening, but no rainfall yet,” Shagun Gupta, a student from Jammu said.

In Himachal Pradesh, favourite tourist destination Manali experienced more snowfall on Friday, making the town look more picturesque, while Shimla and Dalhousie witnessed rain.

The minimum temperature were 2.6 degrees Celsius in Shimla.

Affecting the people, temperatures remained below the freezing point at many places in the hilly state. Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest at minus 2.7 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, for first time in last five years, Delhi received rainfall on January 27. However, as per the IMD, it was the last day to rain this season and temperature from Sunday onwards would rise as another western disturbance in hilly area would cut the chilly Himalayan winds.