New Delhi: It was a bone-chilling day across northern India Sunday, as Jammu and Kashmir's Leh recorded its coldest temperature at minus 17 degrees Celsius and Delhi saw the season's coldest day at 2.6 degrees. While seven people died in Bihar, the toll due to the extreme cold in Uttar Pradesh rose to 125, officials said.
Dense fog in Delhi brought down visibility below 50 metres and delayed 78 trains and 73 flights. Road traffic was also hit due to the dense fog, as motorists drove slowly, with their headlights on even in the morning.
"It was literally impossible to drive my bike in the fog. I was unable to see beyond 10 metres. It's a bone-chilling day," said Ram Kishore after crossing on his motorbike the DND flyway that links Delhi and Noida.
Sunday's maximum temperature was recorded at 18.3 degrees Celsius.
Leh town Sunday recorded its coldest overnight temperature at minus 17 degrees Celsius. Srinagar recorded a low of minus 4.7 degrees Celsius, Jammu recorded 3.8 degrees.
Kargil was the second coldest place in Jammu and Kashmir at minus 15.2 degrees, followed by Pahalgam (minus 7.6) and Gulmarg (minus 3.7).
Water bodies in and around Srinagar were frozen, and people could be seen burning fires around water taps to de-freeze them.
Highly slippery road conditions prevented motorists from taking to the roads.
Rajasthan continued to shiver Sunday, as temperatures dipped up to five degrees below normal and dense fog affected both train and flight services.
Churu recorded a minimum temperature of 1.4 degrees Celsius, while Mount Abu, the only hill station in the desert state, shivered at 2.4 degrees.
Dense fog and cold wave conditions continued unabated in Uttar Pradesh. At least 25 people died since Saturday, taking the toll due to the extreme cold to 125.
Regional Met director J.P. Gupta said the state would be enveloped in dense fog on New Year's Eve and foggy conditions would prevail for the next few days.
Agra was the coldest place in the state with 2.8 degrees Celsius followed by Shahjahanpur (3.2), Kanpur (3.6) and Lucknow (4.9).
An intense cold wave tightened its grip on Himachal Pradesh, with Keylong recording a freezing minus 10.6 degrees Celsius, though there was no rain and snowfall across the state.
Popular tourist spots like Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Fagu, Kasauli, Dalhousie and Manali have been experiencing long sunny days for almost a week. However, the night temperatures in most of these places remained close to or below sub-zero.
State capital Shimla shivered at 1.9 degrees Celsius, while Kalpa recorded a low of minus 0.4 degrees.
Chandigarh saw the season's coldest night Sunday as the minimum temperature hit a low of two degrees Celsius.
As intense cold swept across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, the minimum temperatures at most places were recorded between two and four degrees Celsius, weather officials said Sunday.
The intense cold has claimed the lives of seven people in Bihar.
"Seven people have died since Friday due to the intense cold," an official of the state disaster management department said.
The minimum temperature in Gaya was 5 degrees Celsius, while it was six degrees in state capital Patna.