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Several hilly areas cut off from the rest of the States; communication network down; more rain, snow likely

Northern India was fully in the grip of cold weather conditions on Sunday with widespread snowfall in the hilly areas even as the winter claimed its first casualties in Jammu and Kashmir where two teenaged girls lost their lives after being trapped beneath an avalanche.

Jammu — the winter capital of the state—recorded the coldest day of the season with the day temperature plummeting nearly seven degree Celsius below normal. Dense fog and poor visibility continued to badly affect rail and air traffic for the third straight day today.

The School Education department has decided to close all government and private schools in the summer zone of Jammu division from December 24 following the chilling weather.

No relief is expected from the freezing cold weather for at least three days in state as it is likely to remain dry and cold, a forecast bulletin issued by the state meteorological department warns.

Srinagar recorded season’s new low overnight, as the mercury fell by more than 4 degrees Celsius below the freezing point. The temperature recorded last night was minus 3.8 degrees Celsius.

Mercury To Plunge Further To 10°C Soon

Jaipur: Mercury continued to take a dip across the state on Sunday and many places witnessed a fall in maximum and minimum temperatures. People were seen putting on their warm cloths especially during evening and early morning hours. Mount Abu in the hills while Sriganganagar, Bikaner and Churu in the plains remained the coldest in the state with a minimum temperature of 8 degrees and 11.5 degrees Celsius respectively.

The world experienced unprecedented high-impact climate extremes during the 2001-2010 decade, which was the warmest since the start of modern measurements in 1850 and continued an extended period of pronounced global warming.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday defended the release of an input subsidy package worth Rs.600 crore for kharif crops to farmers and announced launch of a fresh assessment exercise to find out the damage caused to crops by the recent cold wave and hailstorm in some parts of the State.

Intervening in a debate in the Assembly during Zero Hour, he said the package announced at a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority on Sunday was only in connection with the input subsidy, for which the money was already available with the State Government. Only the norms for release of package were to be decided, he added.

North India continues to face an unrelenting cold wave as temperatures in most parts of the region on Sunday stayed low and water bodies in the Kashmir Valley remained frozen.

It was a sunny but chilly Sunday in Delhi, with the minimum temperature taking a slight dip from the normal level. The low for the day was recorded at 7.0 degrees Celsius, two degrees below normal. Though fog covered the city in the early hours, the thin veil gave way to the sun as the day progressed.

The chill showed no signs of ebbing in North India, buffeted by icy winds, with the mercury continuing to hover below normal in most parts on Thursday.

The minimum temperature recorded in Delhi was 5.6 degrees Celsius, two degrees below normal, although it was an improvement on Wednesday’s 4.4 degrees. The maximum too showed a similar trend and stayed a notch below normal at 20.5 degrees.

Severe cold weather sweeping through camps for people displaced by the Afghan war has killed 17 people, mostly children, Amnesty International said Tuesday.

Jaipur: Mercury continued to take a dip across the state as cold wave conditions continued. Mount Abu in hills while Sriganganagar in plains remained coldest in the state and recorded a minimum temperature of 1.4 and 2.3 degrees Celsius, respectively, the Met reports said on Tuesday.

Jaipurites woke up to another cold morning as the city witnessed a minimum temperature of 4.4 degrees Celsius, almost 3 notches below the normal minimum temperature. It was followed by a cold afternoon as the city witnessed a maximum temperature of 22 degrees Celsius, almost one notch below the normal maximum temperature. Though ground frost was witnessed in the farms during early morning hours, no fog was reported in and around Jaipur.