Monday, January 03, 2011

A distinct nip in the air

To the fury of diverse warmists, who tend to lack humour or a sense of irony, the range of countries suffering from unusual coldness has now expanded to India, with a cold wave hitting the north, claiming 27 lives.

Close to 24 people died in Uttar Pradesh alone, three deaths were reported in Jammu and Kashmir with Qazigund in south Kashmir shivering at minus 7.4°C, while Kokernag town in Anantnag district recording a minimum temperature of minus six degree C. Srinagar, which experienced a heavy snowfall two days earlier, froze at -2.4° C, against 0.8°C last Saturday.

The temperature in Leh nosedived to a scary -23.6°C. The Srinagar-Jammu national highway was snowed-in, turning the place into an island with no links to the world outside. The lack of basic woollen clothing and heating facilities to the millions out there, didn't help matters either.

Even, it is said, Delhi – home of Rajendra Pachauri - quivered as temperatures dropped to 14.6°C, one of its coldest winters in years. It has been hit by thick fog which disrupted flights. The elderly and the children seem to be the most affected with a 70 year old man and a two year old boy succumbed to the extreme weather in Bahraich and Farukkhabad districts respectively.

The Times of India is recording the coldest period for seven years in Bombay, with the temperature dropping to a frigid 12.9°C overnight between 31 December and 1 January a degree less than last year's record. With increasing cold in the north, the mercury is likely to dip further, the weather department predicts.

"There was a western upper air system disturbance over Jammu and Kashmir, which caused almost a five-degree-drop in the temperatures in the northern region. Even though this system is moving eastwards, the easterly winds continue to affect the southern and western parts of India," said an official from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune.

"The northerly winds, too, are quite strong and there is snowfall in some northern regions. Because of the five-degree drop in the north, Mumbai is experiencing a distinct nip in the air," he added (pictured).