Shimla: Temperature in high altitude areas of Himachal Pradesh plummeted and reached five to 10 notches below freezing point due to fresh snowfall, which also led to the closure of Rohtang Pass and suspension of traffic on Manali-Leh National highway.
All natural sources of water like springs, lakes, rivulets and a large stretch of Chandrabhaga river were frozen, reducing discharge of water in rivers and affecting hydropower generation.
Mid and lower hills of the state were also lashed by widespread rains during the last 24 hours. The high reaches and mountain passes experienced intermittent snowfall accompanied by strong velocity winds.
The valleys of Lahual, Udaipur and Pangi were cut off due to closure of Rohtang Pass which received 50 cm of snow and traffic on Manali-Leh National highway has been suspended.
Rohtang, Kunzam, Saach, Chansel and other high mountain passes and sprawling Dhauladhar ranges in Kangra Churdhar ranges in Sirmaur received intermittent heavy snowfall.
The Dhauladhar ranges, donning a mantle of impeccable white snow, presented a fascinating look.
The minimum temperature dipped to 4.2 degree Celsius in Shimla, four degree below normal while Dalhousie and Manali recorded a low of 2.3 degree C and 3.2 degree C, four degree below normal, followed by Palampur 5.5 degree C, Solan 7.0 degree C and Nahan 8.5 degree C.
Keylong and Kalpa in tribal districts of Lahaul and Spiti and Kinnaur recorded minimum temperatures at minus 0.5 degree C while Chamba shivered under severe cold wave with a low of zero degree.
The maximum temperatures also dropped by few notches and stayed below normal. Chamba and Dalhousie recorded maximum temperatures at 19.6 degree C and 7.0 degree C, twelve degree below normal.
The local Meteorological office has predicted rains, snow and thundershowers at isolated places during next 24 hours.