|Saturday, January 8, 2000,
Widespread snow in J&K, HP areas
CHANDIGARH, Jan 7 (UNI) Forward areas of Jammu and Kashmir and the adjoining tribal belt in Himachal Pradesh experienced the seasons first snowfall today while a semblance of punctuality was restored in road, rail and air traffics after a week with dense fog lifting before mid-day.
However, no flight could take-off or land in Delhi till 10 a.m. as the entire National Capital Region, including the Delhi airport remained fog-bound.
The bi- weekly Delhi-Chandigarh flight was again cancelled today. Indian Airlines has not operated its flights on the Delhi-Chandigarh route since December 24.
The weekly 431 Delhi-Leh, 484 Leh-Chandigarh, 483 Chandigarh-Leh and 432 Leh-Delhi flights too were cancelled for the second time in the past fortnight because of inclement weather conditions. The cancellation led to stranding of several Ladakh or Chandigarh-bound passengers.
All forward areas, including Kargil, Leh, Thoise and Dras reported widespread snowfall with minimum temperatures dropping 14 to 20°C below freezing point.
People in and around Delhi smarted under the lowest minimum temperature of 4.2°C, three degrees below normal, of the season so far.
The higher reaches in the Himachal Pradesh tribal belt, comprising Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur and Pangi valley (Chamba district), reported the seasons first widespread snowfall. The belt, however, continued to smart under the trauma of 6 to 17° Celsius freezing point temperatures in the minimum.
The welcome westerly disturbances lying along the Pakistan areas bordering Jammu and Kashmir were likely to advance further causing snow and rainfall to break the prolonged dry spell voodoo.
With fog lifting slightly, some semblance of punctuality was restored for the first time with short distance trains on the Delhi-Chandigarh-Kalka and the Delhi-Amritsar-Jammu sections of the Northern Railway running on time. However, some of the long distance trains, mainly from eastern sectors, ran behind schedule.
Srinagar reported mists and the minimum temperature there hovered around 7°C below freezing point. Jammu and Udhampur, Pathankot, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bathinda (Punjab), Ambala, Sirsa (Haryana), Saharanpur, Ghaziabad, Hindon (UP), and Suratgarh (Rajasthan) as usual were enveloped by dense fog with sun peeping rarely.
People in Jammu shivered under spine-chilling cold as mercury for the first time dipped to the lowest of 4.3°C, three degrees below normal.
Hisar with 3.3°C was the coldest place not only in Haryana but also in Punjab. Rohtak with 3.4°C, Amritsar with 3.5°C, Ambala and Ludhiana each recording the low of 4.8°C were the other colder places in the two states.
In Himachal Pradesh, Bhunter reported the low of 0.2°C, followed by Sunder Nagar 1°C and Solan 2°C. Shimla was warmer at 6.1°C, four degrees above normal.
The people in and around Chandigarh had some respite as sun peeped through lifting fog and scatter overcast sky after experiencing yet another colder morning with the minimum temperature of 5.2°C, two degrees below normal. However, as the day advanced fog started descending again.
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