Intense cold wave conditions on Thursday gripped entire north India, including the national capital where the minimum temperature settled at 6 degrees Celsius. December is turning out to be the coldest in recent years. The Haryana government has announced that schools will remain closed today in the state. The weather agencies have warned that the northern belt of India is expected to experience cold wave conditions over the next 3-4 days.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said severe cold accompanied by fog is expected in parts of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and north Rajasthan on Thursday. The weather office said thundershowers are expected at some places in the plains and low hills of Himachal Pradesh.
On Wednesday, it was freezing cold in most parts of the northern states, with Srinagar recording its coldest night of the season at minus 4.3 degrees Celsius that froze water supply lines at several places. Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' - the 40-day harshest period of the winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum temperature drops considerably.
The weatherman said a cold wave is likely to hit the city as the mercury is expected to drop to 4 degrees Celsius over the weekend.
Since December 16, the national capital has registered nine cold days, equal to that recorded in 2003.
The IMD predicted cold day conditions at isolated pockets over Madhya Pradesh and Bihar during the next five days. Dense fog is likely in isolated pockets over Bihar, north Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya and lower reaches of the Western Himalayan region during the same period, it added.
The agency's weather forecast said thunderstorm accompanied with lightning is very likely in isolated places in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.