New Delhi : Mercury dipped further in most parts of North India and a blanket of fog restricted visibility to a few meters in the entire region on Friday, hitting road and rail traffic.

The mercury dropped to 6.4 degrees Celsius in Delhi on Friday accompanied by fog. The minimum temperature, that was recorded at 8.30 AM, was two notches below the season’s average, a weather official said.

The maximum temperature was recorded at 21.1 degrees, one notch below the normal, said a Met department official. The humidity oscillated between 97 and 49 per cent. Moderate foggy conditions were witnessed in the city during the morning, significantly reducing the visibility to 300 meters at 8.30 AM. However, as the day progressed, the visibility improved. In Kashmir Valley, residents braced up for Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day period of the harshest winter in the region as the mercury dipped by several degrees at places in this part of Jammu and Kashmir.

Chillai-Kalan begins from December 21, and during this period the weather in Kashmir Valley continues to remain dry and cold with minimum temperatures hovering below the freezing point.

Srinagar recorded the minimum temperature of minus 3.2 degree Celsius, an official of the MET Department said. The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 10.4 degrees Celsius. Leh, in the frontier region of Ladakh, witnessed a slight decrease in the night temperature as the mercury there settled at minus 12.9 degrees. Leh was the coldest recorded place in the state, the official said.

Punjab and Haryana also continued to be under the cold spell with the minimum temperatures hovering few notches below normal in both the states. The temperatures in Hisar and Karnal settled at 3.7 degrees and 4.6 degrees, respectively, dropping by three degrees below normal each.

While Chandigarh’s minimum settled at 5.6 degrees, down by a degree below normal, Ambala’s temperature rose slightly to reach 7.9 degrees. In Punjab, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Patiala recorded a low of 3.2 degrees, 6.2 degrees and 6.4 degrees, respectively, down by one degree each below normal.

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