New Delhi: Biting cold, which has already claimed 135 lives so far, made a comeback in north India on Friday with minimum temperatures dropping at most places.

A chilly morning greeted Delhiites with the minimum temperature settling at 6.6 degree Celsius even as dense fog hit flight operations at the airport here.

The minimum was recorded at 6.6 degree Celsius, one degree below normal, while the maximum at 22.3 degrees was two notches above average for this time of the season.

More than 40 domestic and international flights have been delayed from the IGI Airport here, while nine arriving and departing flights were cancelled.

The visibility at the runway dropped to 50 metres as a result no flights could take off since 6:AM. The minimum visibility is 125 metres and 150 metres for various categories of aircraft.
Rajasthan reeled under severe cold with Churu the coldest in the desert state with a minimum of 1.6 degrees Celsius.

While Sriganganagar recorded 2 degrees Celsius, Pilani recorded a low of 2.3 deg C. Bikaner registered a minimum of 4.8 deg C, the MeT department said here.

Vanasthali and Jaisalmer recorded a minimum temperature of 5.1 and 6.9 degrees Celsius respectively.

Other places in the state also had a low in the range of 7.8 degrees Celsius to 12 degrees Celsius.

Punjab also saw bone-chilling cold tightening its grip over the state with Amritsar recording the lowest temperature of minus 2.1 deg C.

Mercury remained several notches below normal in most parts of both Punjab and Haryana as prevailing cold conditions along with dense fog continued to hit normal life, throwing both rail and road traffic out of gear.

Important trains, including Shatabdi Express, were running late by several hours.

Chandigarh recorded a low of 5.2 degree Celsius, down by one degree Celsius, Met department said here, adding that Hisar in Haryana registered a minimum of 2.7 degree Celsius, 3 notches below normal. Ambala, Rohtak, Karnal and Narnaul recorded minimum temperatures of 4.9, 5.1, 5.2 and 2.5 degree Celsius respectively.

Ludhiana and Patiala recorded a minimum of 5.2 degree Celsius and 5 degree Celsius, two degrees below normal, they said, predicting that foggy weather will continue to prevail in various parts of the states while days will mainly remain dry.

Cold on Friday tightened its grip in Kashmir Valley with Srinagar recording a low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius.

Srinagar, which witnessed the coldest night of the season last week at minus 4.9 degree Celsius, reeled under bone-chilling cold as the drop in night temperature resulted in partial freezing of the Dal Lake and other stagnant water bodies.

Leh district of Ladakh region recorded minus 16.6 deg C, an increase of 0.4 degrees as compared to Thursday, MeT officials said.

Kargil town, also in mountainous Ladakh region, recorded a low of minus 15.2 degree Celsius.

Elsewhere, the skiing resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a minimum temperature of minus 7.5 degree Celsius, while Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 7.4 degree Celsius.

Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a minimum of minus 5.0 degree Celsius, while north Kashmir's Kupwara town settled at a low of minus 4.1 degree Celsius.

In the east, Kolkata recorded a maximum of 28 degree celsius and a minimum of 19 degree celsius which is five notches above the normal.

(Agencies)