Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 25. A thick blanket of fog enveloped most parts of North India, disrupting normal life and hitting air, rail and road traffic, while the relentless cold wave pushed up the death toll to 11. The Met office has forecast a further drop in minimum temperatures in the region and said that poor visibility due to foggy weather would continue over the next 24 hours.
The IMD forecast said dense fog (visibility less than 100 m) would continue over many parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal during next 24 hours and there would also be no significant change in minimum temperatures over Northwest, Central and West India during the next two days.
Apart from the North, Central and East India also woke up to a foggy Christmas. According to the Met office, dense fog was observed over many parts of Jammu division, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, northeast Rajasthan, north Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and parts of Assam and Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura.
Cities where visibility was less than 50 m were Jammu, Amritsar, Patiala, Chandigarh, Bhiwani, Narnaul, Delhi, Pantnagar, Meerut, Agra, Ganganagar, Churu, Pilani, Bharatpur, Sawai Madhopur, Tikamgarh, Khajuraho and Kailashahar.
Schedules of over 100 flights were badly affected at Indira Gandhi International Airport here while seven were diverted and 10 cancelled. The delays ranged from half an hour to five hours, causing inconvenience to the passengers, airport officials said.
According to reports, Narnaul was the coldest in the plains of Punjab and Haryana with a low of 3°C while Hisar shivered at 3.4°C and Bhiwani at 5°C. Amritsar registered a low of 6°C followed by 7.1°C at Ludhiana and 7.5°C in Chandigarh.
The situation may change when a fresh western disturbance affects western Himalayan region from December 27 onward. In the meantime, rain or snow would occur at one or two places over Jammu and Kashmir during the next 48 hours and increase thereafter. Rain or snow would also occur at one or two places over Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand after 48 hours while cold day conditions would continue to prevail over some parts of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar during the next 24 hours, said the Met office.