Northern states reeled under nippy cold wave conditions on Thursday with mercury dipping below the freezing point in many areas in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, while two persons died due to cold in Himachal Pradesh. In Delhi mercury plummeted to 2 degree Celsius.
Rail services were hit by poor visibility in the morning.
Twenty-six Delhi-bound trains were delayed, eight rescheduled and seven cancelled due to foggy weather. Air traffic, however, continued uninterrupted in Delhi.
Icy winds swept the national capital that recorded a low of 3.4 degrees Celsius, the lowest temperature for January in three years.
"Thursday's minimum of 3.4 degrees is the lowest for January in the last three years and it is also the season's lowest,"
Ravinder Bhishen, Director of the Regional Weather Forecasting Centre said.
Authorities in neighbouring Gautam Budh Nagar ordered closure of all schools affiliated to CBSE, ICSC and Uttar Pradesh Board from nursery to Class XII till January 15 due to the intense cold.Piercing cold wave conditions further intensified in
Himachal Pradesh with Keylong in Lahaul and Spiti experiencing the coldest night at minus 15 degrees Celsius and high altitude tribal areas groaning under arctic conditions, even as two more persons died due to cold taking the total deaths in Shimla district to 10 since heavy snowfall last week.
Water supply pipes froze at several places disrupting supply for seven days at a stretch.
The Hindustan Tibet Road was closed beyond Narkanda and Kinnaur district and Lahaul and Pangi tribal valleys remained cut off from the rest of the state for the seventh day.
Many places in Jammu and Kashmir gauged the season's lowest night temperature. The hill resort of Pahalgam recorded the lowest temperature in three years in January at minus 13.0 degrees Celsius.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir also recorded the season's lowest night temperature in four years at minus 13.5 degrees Celsius to be the coldest place in the Valley.
Kokernag had a low of minus 7.1 degrees Celsius and Qazigund minus 7.2 degrees Celsius while Kargil town also had the coldest night of the season at minus 15.6 degrees Celsius.
Narnaul in Haryana shivered at minus 0.5 degrees Celsius, while Amritsar and Adampur in Punjab experienced bone-chilling cold conditions at 0.8 degrees Celsius and minus 0.1 degrees Celsius respectively.
The residents in Union Territory of Chandigarh also reeled under piercing chill at a low of 3.7 degrees Celsius. Amritsar residents shivered with the low in the holy city settling at 0.8 degrees Celsius. Adampur was even colder at a low of minus 0.1 deg Celsius.
The mercury remained below the freezing point at three places in Rajasthan with Churu recording a minimum of minus 1.9 degrees Celsius. Mount Abu had a minimum of minus 2 degree Celcius while Sriganganagar, Bhilwara, Sikar, Alwar and Vanasthali registered night temperatures of minus 1.1, 0.0, 1, 1.2 and 2.1 degrees Celsius.