New Delhi: The entire North India shivered on Saturday as icy winds lashed the region claiming five more lives pushing the country-wide death toll this winter to 128.

All the fresh deaths occurred overnight in Uttar Pradesh which has so far accounted for 88 fatalities.

Chilly winds swept the state as mercury plunged to a low of 0.5 degrees Celsius in Najibabad area in Bijnor district. The national capital witnessed coldest day of the season recording a minimum temperature of 3.3 deg C, five degrees below normal.

Kashmir Valley reeled under under bone-chilling cold with most places recording below sub-zero temperatures.  Hill resort Gulmarg endured intense cold registering a low of minus 11.6 deg C, a MeT official said.

The tourist resort of Pahalgam in South Kashmir recorded a low of minus 7.4 deg C against Saturday's minus 8.2 deg C. In remote Leh district in Ladakh region, the minimum temperature rose by nearly three degrees to settle at minus 15 deg C, he said. In summer capital Srinagar, the minimum temperature fell by 2.1 degrees Celsius compared to Friday to settle at minus 3.3 deg C.

Punjab and Haryana remained in the grip of a cold wave with Rohtak, the coldest place in the two states, reeling at minus 0.8 deg C.

Chilly winds blew across the Union Territory of Chandigarh which experienced the coldest day of the season with mercury plummeting to a low of 1.9 degrees Celsius.

Holy city Amritsar, Patiala and Ludhiana in Punjab recorded minimum temperatures of zero, 2.8 and 3.7 degrees respectively, the MeT office said.

Mercury dipped in Rajasthan with Churu recording the lowest temperature of the season at minus one degree Celsius, five notches below normal.

Mount Abu, the only hill station in the state, recorded a low of one deg C.

Thick fog blanketed several places in the region hitting road and rail traffic. Several trains were running behind schedule, a Railway spokesman said.

Coldest day for Delhiites

Delhiites woke up to a shivery morning as the mercury plummeted to as low as 3.3 degrees Celsius prompting them to pull out more woollens from the shelves to bear with the coldest day this season.

This is the first time that the minimum temperature went below four degrees Celsius ever since the onset of winter this year in the capital.

Saturday's minimum of 3.3 degrees Celsius was five degrees below normal and down from Friday's six degree Celsius. Friday, recorded the lowest maximum temperature for the season at 19.9 degree Celsius.

Saturday’s maximum was recorded at 20 degrees Celsius, which is two degrees below normal at this time of the season, the MeT office said.

The winter chill is here to stay for at least the next few days with the Weathermen predicting a further fall in minimum temperature on Christmas on Sunday. The maximum could hover around 19 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

The coldest day of the season so far was December 16 when the minimum dropped to 4.7 degrees Celsius and maximum to 21.7 degrees.

In December last year, the minimum had come down to 5.2 degrees Celsius on the 22nd of the month. In the past decade, the lowest minimum for the month was recorded on December 12, 2005 when the mercury recorded 3.3 degrees Celsius while the highest maximum was 28.4 degrees on December 15, 2003.

The record for the lowest minimum for the month of December is 1.1 degree Celsius recorded on the 26th of the month in 1945 and the highest maximum was 29.3 degrees on third of the month in 1987.

(Agencies)