Coldest day in 10 years chills city, fog slows trains, grounds flights

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The cold wave continued to drag the mercury down in the city Friday. The maximum temperature touched a nine-year low of 8.4 degrees Celsius, 13 degrees below normal. The last time it dropped lower was on January 12, 2003, when the thermometer read eight degrees.

The minimum temperature was 3.4 degrees, 2 degrees below normal, making Friday the coldest day of the season.

"It was 10 years ago that the day temperature was lower than this. The reason is the presence of fog and lack of sunshine. The minimum temperature is likely to dip further. Foggy conditions will continue for 24 to 36 hours. Thereafter strong winds could be experienced that could dissipate the fog," Met Director Surender Paul said.

There will be no respite from the cold wave either. If that wasn't enough, fog and frost has added to the residents' woes. For the past several days now, the sun has largely been fogged out from the city. On top of that, humidity continued at 100 percent.

Hill stations though had a more pleasant day than Chandigarh. Shimla recorded a maximum temperature of 13.4 degrees Celsius, Solan 18 degrees and Sunder Nagar 18.1 degrees. Further north in Srinagar, the maximum temperature was 9.5 degrees.

The fog also affected flights and trains, much to the inconvenience of passengers. The morning Kalka Shatabdi reached Chandigarh 40 minutes late, Kalka-Howrah train was delayed by 29 hours and Unchahar Express was late by more than 13 hours. Several other trains also ran hours late. Several flights were also grounded and Air India has canceled its flight to Delhi for January 5.

Meanwhile, with the trains were running late, passengers had to come to the station to make enquiries because the railway inquiry numbers were not operational.

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