Agency New Delhi: The mercury dipped below the normal in several parts of north India with Delhi recording the season’s lowest at 7.6 degrees Celsius, while Kargil shivered at minus 17 degrees Celsius. There was no respite for Himachal Pradesh as cold winds swept the hill state, while in Punjab and Haryana, the minimum temperatures hovered below the normal at most places. The national capital recorded a minimum of 7.9 degrees Celsius on Wednesday as cold winds continued to blow from hilly regions. Weather experts said the mercury is expected to dip further. Falling temperatures, high humidity and calm winds have led to an increase in pollution levels in the national capital and its suburbs. The overall air quality index in the city crossed the 300 mark for the first time in 11 days, even as pollution levels at a few places shot up to ‘severe’ levels. He said the minimum temperature in the winter capital Jammu went up and settled 8.6 degrees Celsius, 1.2 notches below seasons average. Intense cold wave conditions continued unabated in Himachal Pradesh with Lahaul-Spiti’s Keylong recording the lowest minimum temperature at minus 8.7 degrees Celsius, the meteorological (MeT) department in Shimla said. Kinnaur’s Kalpa recorded a minimum temperature of zero degree Celsius and Manali recorded a low of minus 0.4 degree Celsius, Shimla MeT Centre Director Manmohan Singh said. The minimum temperature in Una remained lower than Shimla, he said. In Uttarakhand, Mukteshwar recorded 4.5 degrees Celsius and Dehradun, 8.5 degrees Celsius.
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