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Parts of north India reel under cold conditions

A man carrying an umbrella walks under snow-covered trees during snowfall in Tangmarg town in Kashmir region February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Danish Ismail TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

New Delhi: Many areas in the northern states reeled under intense cold conditions and high-altitude areas of Himachal Pradesh experienced fresh snowfall on Sunday, even as the arterial Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was thrown open for one-way traffic after five days.

Twenty five trains were running late due to fog in northern states. Five trains were rescheduled while Jai Nagar-Amritsar Shahid Express was cancelled, a railway official said.

The nearly 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the only all-weather road link between Kashmir and the rest of the country, was thrown open for one-way traffic, five days after snowfall in the Valley had led to its closure.

Following improvement in weather, the highway was cleared of snow and debris due to landslides and one-way traffic was allowed this morning, an official of the Traffic Control department told PTI.

Kashmir witnessed fresh snowfall on Tuesday which continued intermittently yesterday as well, affecting flight operations at Srinagar airport.

While morning flights were delayed yesterday, all flights in the afternoon were cancelled due to snowfall. This morning as well, the flights were delayed, an official at the airport said.

It was a pleasant weather in the national capital with mercury settling at 10.6 degrees Celsius, two notches above the season’s average.

According to Safdarjung observatory, the reading of which is considered the official figure for the city, the maximum temperature was recorded at 21.5 degree Celsius, one notch below normal.

Most areas in Kashmir received rains and snow yesterday, but the weather was mainly dry for most part of the night.

Leh in Ladakh region was the coldest recorded place in Kashmir division last night. The mercury in Leh settled at minus 5.2 degrees Celsius, up nearly five degrees from the previous night’s low of minus 10.1 degrees Celsius, an MeT department official said.

Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district was the

second coldest place with a minimum of minus 4 degrees Celsius. Other places, including the summer capital Srinagar, also witnessed night temperatures around the freezing point, the official said.

Severe cold wave conditions prevailed in most parts of Himachal Pradesh with high-altitude tribal areas of Lahaul and Spiti and Rohtang Pass experiencing another spell of snowfall.

Keylong in tribal Lahaul Valley recorded 7 cm of fresh snow while Rohtang Pass, Koksar and Mari received 15 cm, 12 cm and 10 cm of precipitation respectively. The sky remained overcast and chilly winds swept the region.

Una and Solan recorded maximum day temperatures at 20.6 degrees Celsius and 20.4 degrees Celsius respectively, while Shimla registered a high of 17.4 degrees Celsius.

Minimum temperatures also rose marginally and Keylong, Manali and Kalpa recorded a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, minus 3.6 degrees Celsius and minus 2.4 degrees Celsius respectively.

Cold conditions continued unabated in Punjab and Haryana while several places in the region were engulfed with moderate fog in the morning affecting air, rail and road traffic.

However, the minimum temperatures in Punjab and Haryana settled above normal levels in the region, the local MeT office said.

Narnaul was coldest with a low of 6.5 degrees Celsius, one notch above normal. While Amritsar braved at a low of 7.4 degrees Celsius, three notches above normal, the minimum at Karnal was 8.8 degrees Celsius, four notches above normal.

In Rajasthan, cold wave condition and fog affected isolated places due to north-easterly wind circulation.

Dense fog cover was witnessed in Pilani and Churu whereas Jaipur witnessed smog.

According to MeT department, minimum temperature of 4.4 degrees Celsius was recorded in hill station Mount Abu followed by 7 degrees Celsius in Phalodi and Sikar.

Mercury in other districts remained between 10.2 to 11.8 degrees Celsius respectively.