The cold wave sweeping northern India tightened its grip in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and parts of Himachal Pradesh, as dense fog forced the Indian Railways to cancel 22 trains and reschedule another eight. Delhi recorded the season's lowest minimum temperature at 4.2 degrees Celsius, three notches below the average, the Met office in the national capital said. Dense fog delayed 45 north-bound trains, while eight were rescheduled and 22 were cancelled by the Railways. The night temperature in Srinagar slipped to the season's lowest at -6.2C, a MeT department official said in Srinagar. This was the third straight night when the minimum temperature in Srinagar settled at -6.0C or below. Many water bodies in the the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir have partially frozen due to the intense cold wave. The Dal Lake partially froze early today, but a bright sunshine through the day defroze the popular lake's surface. Elsewhere in the Kashmir Valley, the minimum temperature stayed several degrees below the freezing point. Biting cold conditions persisted in parts of Himachal Pradesh.
The high-altitude tribal areas groaned as the minimum temperature in the hills ranged between -13C and -20C. Keylong and Kalpa, in tribal Lahaul and Spiti, and Kinnaur recorded a low of -7.2C and -3.4C respectively. The temperature during daytime, however, rose by 2-3 degrees in Himachal, including in Una, which recorded the highest maximum temperature in the state at 25.8C. Punjab, Haryana and their common capital Chandigarh remained under the grip of intense cold conditions. Narnaul recorded the lowest minimum temperature in the states at 0.2C. The minimum temperature remained up to five degrees below the normal in parts of Punjab and Haryana, the MeT office in Chandigarh said. The minimum temperature in Chandigarh was 3.4C. In the desert-state Rajasthan, Bhilwara, Alwar, Churu, Sikar, Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh and Pilani districts reeled under the cold wave. Alwar was recorded the coldest place in the state at 0.3C, followed by 1.5C in Sikar, 2C each in hill station Mount Abu and Churu, and 2.2C in Sriganganagar. In Uttar Pradesh, the Met office in Lucknow said the day temperature fell markedly in Bareilly division. The lowest minimum temperature in the state was in Meerut at 2.9C. The Met office has forecast dry weather in Uttar Pradesh during the next 24 hours, with shallow to moderate fog at a few places over eastern and western UP.
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