Shimla: The sun is shining brightly in Himachal Pradesh these days while a thick blanket of fog refuses to lift from most parts of the northern Indian plains.
Shimla, the Queen of Hills, is recording the "warmest" days owing to long sunny spells, while cities like Chandigarh, Amritsar, Karnal, New Delhi and Lucknow, located in the plains, are reeling under cold wave conditions with the sun fogged out.
Hill destinations have been experiencing long hours of sunny weather for over a week and the day temperatures in most places have risen. The dry weather would prevail till January 15, the Met said.
An official at the Shimla meteorological bureau told IANS that the maximum temperature in the hill state is one-two degrees above the season's average. But nights and mornings are intensely cold. Data accessed from the weather bureau indicates the weather in hill destinations of Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Chail, Kasauli, Dharamsala, Palampur, Dalhousie and Manali is "warmer" in the day, perfect for a break from the biting chill of the plains.
"What a sun in Shimla. A perfect break from the foggy conditions in Delhi," said tourist Sandeep Dikshit.
"We are literally enjoying balmy days here," his wife Parul added. Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological department, said: "The maximum temperature in the hills is one-two degrees above average due to the long sunny days, while the minimum temperatures are one-two degrees below average due to clear skies."
The humidity level of plus 80 per cent causes fog. In the plains it is more than 80 per cent. However, in the hills it's around 50 per cent these days. In Shimla, located around 7,000 feet above sea level, the minimum temperature was 2.1 degrees Celsius on Friday, whereas the maximum was 13.5 degrees on Thursday.
The night temperature in Dharamsala was 5.2 degrees Celsius, whereas popular tourist resort Manali saw a low of minus 2.6 degrees. At minus four degrees, Kalpa, some 250 km from the state capital, saw a mild overnight snowfall. (IANS)