Cold wave grips Himachal, snowfall at Rohtang, Dhauladhar ranges

Cold wave conditions persisted in Himachal Pradesh, with icy winds sweeping away most parts of the region and the upper reaches of the state receiving another spell of snowfall. Though the minimum temperature rose marginally to remain at 6.1 degree Celsius on Thursday, it continued to remain below normal in most parts of the state.

While Rohtang Pass and Dhauladhar ranges in Kullu and Kangra districts received fresh spell of snow, Shimla and other parts of the state experienced rains and icy winds.

Keylong, the district headquarters of Lahaul and Spiti, recorded a low of -7 degrees Celsius, while Manali reeled under cold waves with mercury staying at 3.6 degrees C, the Met office said. Shimla, on the other hand, recorded a minimum of 6.1 degrees C, while the maximum temperature dropped 3 notches from Wednesday's 16.2 degrees C.

While tourists resort of Kalpa in Kinnaur district recorded a minimum of 1.5 degrees C, Dharamshala was at 7.6 degrees C, Una at 5 degrees C, Mandi at 4.9 degrees C, Solan at 2.7 degrees C and tourists resort of Manali at 1.6 degrees Celsius.

Various parts of the state, including Shimla and its surrounding areas, were also lashed by rain and thundershowers. According to the Met office, Tissa recorded 16 mm of rain, Salooni 11 mm, Dalhousie 9 mm, Kheri 6 mm, Manali 4 mm, Nurpur 2 mm, Dehra Gopipur, Dharamsala and Guler 1 mm each.

At the upper reaches of the state, which received moderate snowfall, Rohtang Pass recorded a maximum of 45 cm of snow. Similarly, Manali and Keylong received 8 to 10 cm of fresh snow, Met officials said.

The local MeT office has predicted rain or thundershowers at isolated places across the state during the next 24 hours.

Arun Sharma, Director (Tourism and Civil Aviation) said: "Early snowfall can attract more tourists, as Himachal Pradesh is witnessing a decline in the number of tourists. The change in the weather could prove to be a boon for us."

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