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Cold wave abates, just a bit
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 5
The biting cold wave abated somewhat in North India today as the sun came out, lifting the fog as also temperature in some parts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. The Jammu-Srinagar national highway also reopened after being closed for two days due to heavy snowfall.

However, despite the cold wave relenting slightly, latest reports say that the number of cold-related deaths went up to 124, with four fresh cases reported from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The Met office said maximum temperature remained below normal by 4.8C in Punjab, Haryana, north Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gangetic West Bengal, by 2.3C in Madhya Pradesh, south Rajasthan and Gujarat. It was above normal by 2.4C in parts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Telengana, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, and North-East. It was almost normal in rest of the country.

Minimum temperature remained below normal by 2.4C in parts of Madhya Pradesh, coastal Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, north coastal Andhra Pradesh, east Rajasthan and Orissa. It was above normal by around 2.3C in parts of Maharashtra, northeastern states and near normal in rest of the country.

It said the minimum temperature is likely to go down by 2-3C over northwest and central India during the next couple of days. Day temperature is likely to increase by 2-3C in northwest and central India during the next two days. Cold day conditions in Punjab, Haryana and west Uttar Pradesh will abate during the next 24 hours, it said. Dry weather conditions would prevail in most parts of the country, it added.

Mist or shallow fog in the morning is likely in parts of Indo-Gangetic plains during the next 24 hours.

Though mercury went up by two notches, cold conditions continued in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. Amritsar remained the coldest place in the region as it recorded a minimum temperature of 1.2C, dipping by three notches below normal, the Met office said. Halwara recorded a low of 3C followed by Adampur, which shivered at 5.2C.

The met department at the Adampur Air Force Station has predicted fog, mist and cloudy conditions in the area. There will be less than 1 km of visibility till 11 am. It will improve to around 2.5 km by 1 pm, sources added.

Chandigarh recorded a low of 7C, up by 1C against average temperature. Ludhiana and Patiala saw mercury settling at 7.8C and 8C, respectively. Ambala and Rohtak recorded a low of 6.7C while Karnal witnessed a minimum of 9C. Bhiwani, Narnaul and Hisar recorded a minimum temperature of 5.4C, 8.7C and 6.2C, respectively.

With let-up in snow and rain, night temperature improved in Jammu and Kashmir, barring Ladakh region where mercury dipped to -18C in Leh and -16.8C in Kargil district. The minimum temperature in Srinagar this morning was 2C, 4C above normal, while hill resort Pahalgam recorded a low of -2.9C.

Thoise in the upper reaches saw a minimum temperature of -11C, cutting off the valley from the rest of the country. Jammu recorded a low of 7C, while Udhampur shivered at a minimum temperature of 5C.

Cold wave conditions relented in Shimla and other lower areas of Himachal Pradesh as the temperature rose in most parts of the state. After a rise in night temperature, Shimla witnessed a sunny day, giving much relief to the people.

Despite sun coming out, Delhi remained in the grip of intense cold wave as chilly northwesterly winds from the Himalayas brought down the maximum temperature, which was recorded at 14C, 8C below normal, and so far the lowest in the season. After the sun came out, the minimum temperature climbed to 9.3C, giving some comfort to the people reeling under severe cold conditions for the past one week.

(With inputs from Kusum Arora in Jalandhar)

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