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Mercury below 5 deg C at many places in North India; IMD forecasts cold wave later this week

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New Delhi: Several places in north India, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, recorded their minimum temperature below the five-degree Celsius mark on Sunday, with the India Meteorological Department forecasting severe cold wave in parts of the region later this week and warning of dense fog.
Though the mercury rose slightly in Delhi due to a Western Disturbance, the department said the relief will be short-lived as cold and dry northerly and northwesterly winds from the western Himalayas are likely to bring the minimum temperature in north India down by three to five degrees Celsius.
“Cold wave to severe cold wave conditions are likely in isolated pockets over Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan from December 28-29. Ground frost and dense fog is likely in isolated pockets in the region,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
Gurdaspur in Punjab and Churk in east Uttar Pradesh recorded lows of 2 degrees Celsius and 2.6 degrees Celsius respectively, while cold wave intensified in Kashmir with minimum temperatures dropping across the region to stay several notches below the freezing point.
Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius, Qazigund minus five degrees Celsius, Kupwara minus 4.8 degrees Celsius and Kokernag, in the south, recorded minus 4.9 degrees Celsius, according to the meteorological (MeT) department in Srinagar.
“Fairly widespread to widespread rainfall/snowfall is very likely over Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh; scattered rainfall/snowfall over Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and isolated rain/thundershowers over northern parts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh on 27th-28th December,” the IMD said in its all-India weather bulletin.
The minimum temperature in Delhi rose slightly under the influence of the Western Disturbance (WD) affecting the upper Himalayas, according to the IMD.
The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded a minimum of 6 degrees Celsius as against 4.6 degrees Celsius on Saturday.
However, Kuldeep Srivastava, the head of the regional forecasting centre of the IMD, said the relief will be short-lived.
The WD will lead to “scattered to fairly widespread” snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Once the wind system withdraws, cold wave to severe cold wave conditions are likely to occur in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan from December 28-29, it said.
For the plains, the IMD declares a cold wave when the minimum temperature is 10 degrees Celsius or below and is 4.5 notches less than normal.
Biting cold conditions continued to prevail in Haryana and Punjab, with Gurdaspur recording a minimum temperature of 2 degrees Celsius.
While Gurdaspur was the coldest place in Punjab, Narnaul was the coldest at 3.3 degrees Celsius in Haryana, the MeT department in Chandigarh said.
In Haryana, Karnal, Rohtak, Ambala and Hisar recorded respective minimums of 3.8 degrees Celsius, 5.4 degrees Celsius, 4.6 degrees Celsius and 5.8 degrees Celsius.

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