A view of snow covered Kaza headquarters of Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh (Press Trust of India)
Most parts of Himachal Pradesh continued to reel under arctic-like conditions as mercury stayed close to the freezing point and cold wave further intensified.
As stormy conditions subsided in the region and bright sunshine greeted people, the day temperature rose marginally while the minimum temperatures witnessed a sharp fall.
The state capital Shimla and Solan experienced coldest night of the season with mercury dipping to minus 0.5 degree while Salooni in Chamba recorded a low of minus 7.0 degree C.
The high altitude tribal areas reeled under piercing cold wave conditions with mercury staying between minus 15 and minus 22 degrees while Keylong recorded minimum temperature at minus 5.5 degrees, followed by Kalpa minus 4.8 degrees, Manali minus 4.0 degrees, Una 1.0 degrees, Palampur 1.5 degrees, Dharamsala 2.8 degrees, Sundernagar 3.3 degrees, Bhuntar 4.2 degrees and Nahan 6.9 degree Celsius.
The Hindustan-Tibet National Highway was closed beyond Kufri due to snow and Rampur and Rekong Peo-bound buses were being routed via Basantpur and Kingal.
Over 80 roads were blocked in Kinnaur, Mandi, Kullu and Shimla district while Lahaul and Pangi valleys were cut off due to closure of Rohtang Pass.
All roads in mid and higher hills would be opened by tomorrow evening, an official of PWD said.
Thick fog engulfed the towns along the river banks in the morning while ground frost occurred in mid and higher hills, hampering vehicular traffic in the morning hours.
The water pipes froze and burst at many places in higher hills as mercury dropped below the freezing point.
Shimla-Rohroo and Shimla-Chopal roads were blocked due to heavy snow at Khara-Patthar while tribal Lahual and Pangi Valleys were cut off from rest of the state due to closure of Rohtang Pass.
Bharmaur in Chamba district recorded 15 cm of snow during past 24 hours while Bijahi 12 cm snow, followed by Kalpa 8 cm, Mashobra and Khadrala 7 cm, Shimla 5 cm, Keylong 4 cm and Manali 3 cm.
However, the maximum temperatures increased by few notches and Una was warmest during the day with a high of 20.8 degrees, followed by Nahan 18.8 degrees, Solan 17.4 degrees, Sundernagar 16.9 degrees, Bhunter 16.2 degrees, Dharamshala 14.2 degrees, Shimla 12.0 degrees, Mamali 6.0 degrees and Kalpa 5.8 degree Celsius.
The mid and lower hills experienced widespread rains during past 24 years and Dharamshala was wettest in the region with 24 mm rains, followed by Dehra Gopipur 23 mm, Kumarsain and Jogindernagar 20 mm, Gohar 19 mm, Sundernagar and Jubbal 18 mm, Hamirpur 17 mm, Baijnath and Gaggal 16 mm and Kotkhai and Sujanpur Tira 15 mm.
The local MeT office has predicted dry weather in the region over next four days and light rains or snow at isolated places from January 20 next.