New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) There was no respite from cold wave conditions in Kashmir on Friday as the minimum temperatures stayed several degrees below the freezing point at most places in the valley, while the mercury dipped in Rajasthan after rains.
Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded the lowest temperature in the valley on Thursday night at minus 10.3 degrees Celsius.
In the national capital, the minimum temperature settled at 6.8 degrees Celsius, which is two notches below the season's average, while the air quality continued to be in the "moderate" category.
The city's maximum temperature was recorded at 24 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season's average, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) was recorded at 145, which falls in the moderate category.
Cold weather conditions prevailed in most parts of Punjab and Haryana, with the minimum temperature settling below the normal.
Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, recorded a minimum of 5.8 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal, according to a report of the MeT department.
Bathinda was the coldest place in Punjab as it recorded 2.6 degrees Celsius, three degrees below normal.
Amritsar shivered at 5.2 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature in Ludhiana and Patiala settled at 6.8 and 6.5 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Pathankot, Faridkot and Gurdaspur experienced cold weather conditions at 4.7, 5 and 3 degrees Celsius, respectively.
In neighbouring Haryana, Ambala recorded a low of 7.3 degrees Celsius, one degree below normal while Hisar's low was 6.5 degrees Celsius.
Karnal, Narnaul, Rohtak Bhiwani and Sirsa registered their minimums of 5.7, 8.5, 6.2, 8.1 and 4.8 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Cold wave conditions returned in parts of Rajasthan due to rainfall caused by western disturbance with several places recording lower than normal minimum temperatures, a MeT department spokesperson said.
The state's Fatehpur recorded a minimum temperature of 1.4 degree Celsius.
According to the Meteorological Department, the weather in the desert state remained mainly dry in the last 24 hours with several places reeling under a cold wave.
On Friday morning, Sikar logged a minimum temperature of 2.7 degrees, and Karauli and Banswara 3 degrees Celsius each.
Churu and Bhilwara recorded a minimum temperature of 3.5 degrees Celsius, Pilani 3.5 degrees Celsius, while Alwar registered a low of 4.6 degrees Celsius.
Intense cold wave conditions persisted in most parts of Himachal Pradesh even as the weather remained dry and the mercury rose marginally.
However, minimum temperatures remained low in tribal areas and Kukumseri and Sumdo recorded a low of minus 14.5 degrees Celsius and minus 9.7 degrees Celsius, followed by Kalpa minus 1.8 degrees Celsius, Bhuntar minus 0.1 degree Celsius, Manali 0.4 degree Celsius, Sundernagar 0.7 degree Celsius, Solan 0.9 degree Celsius, Narkanda 1 degree Celsius, Una and Bharmour 2 degrees Celsius each and Shimla 5.4 degrees Celsius.
Cold wave continued and ground frost and fog occurred at isolated places in Una, Bilaspur, Kangra and Mandi districts in the morning.
The local Meteorological station has predicted dry weather in the region for the next six days till February 15.
The maximum temperatures rose by a few notches and Una recorded the highest temperature in the hill state at 23 degrees Celsius, followed by Kangra and Bhuntar at 22.2 degrees Celsius each, Mandi (21 degrees Celsius), Solan (20 degrees Celsius) and Shimla (15.8 degrees Celsius).
As many as 154 roads including five national highways were still closed for vehicular traffic while 26 transformers and 18 water supply schemes were disrupted in the state according to the state emergency operation centre.
Back in Jammu and Kashmir, the mercury in Gulmarg tourist destination fell to minus 9 degrees Celsius.
Kokernag and Qazigund towns in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5 degrees Celsius and minus 6.4 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 4.8 degrees Celsius compared to the previous night's minus 5.2 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperatures in Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Qazigund and Srinagar were around five degrees below normal for this time of the year.
Although 'Chilla-i-Kalan' -- the 40-day harshest winter period -- ended earlier this week, the cold wave has continued in Kashmir.
The valley is currently going through a 20-day-long 'Chilla-i-Khurd' (small cold) which shall be followed by a 10-day 'Chilla-i-Bachha' (baby cold). PTI TEAM CK