Shimla: Many places in the plains of north India like Ludhiana, Patiala and Hisar on Monday remained colder than hilly tourist destinations Shimla, Dharamsala and Dalhousie in Himachal Pradesh, the Met Office said here on Monday.
In Punjab, Ludhiana was the coldest city in the region with the minimum temperature recorded at 3.3 degrees Celsius. Patiala and Amritsar saw the lows of 5.4 and 6.4 degrees Celsius respectively.
Chandigarh recorded a low of 6.8 degrees Celsius, while in Haryana, Ambala with 7.5 degrees, Karnal (5) and Hisar (4.5) were in the grip of severe cold sweeping through the region.
Hill stations across Himachal Pradesh have been experiencing long hours of sunny weather for the past few days and the temperatures in most places have risen.
An official at the Shimla Meteorological Office told IANS that the maximum temperature in the hill state rose by two-three degrees since Sunday.
He said the rise was abnormal, remaining three-four degrees Celsius above the season's average.
Shimla, located around 7,000 feet above sea level, Dharamsala, the abode of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and tourist resort Dalhousie experienced "cosy nights" compared to the plains of adjoining states.
The Himachal Pradesh capital recorded a low of 6.6 degrees Celsius. Even Ludhiana, Hisar and Karnal in Punjab and Haryana were colder than Himachal's Dharamsala (5.8) and Dalhousie (7.1).
However, picturesque tourist resort Manali was in the grip of bone-chilling minus 1.8 degrees.
At 9.3 degrees below the frezzing point, Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest in Himachal.
The weather conditions in Himachal's popular destinations like Kasauli, Chail, Kufri, Narkanda and Palampur are expected to be sunny.
"What a pleasant, warm day in Shimla," Neha Tyagi, a tourist from Delhi, said. Her husband Mudit added: "Even the nights are pleasant here."
Delhi's minimum temperature Monday morning settled at 8.5 degrees Celsius - two notches higher than in Shimla.
Manmohan Singh, director of Shimla's meteorological office, told IANS that these days Shimla has high night temperature compared to the plains.
"This is a normal phenomenon and occurs mainly due to settling of inversion layer on mountain tops," he explained.
Generally, the air becomes cooler as elevation increases.
The day temperature in most of the plains is abnormally high compared to Shimla.
The warm air lifted from the plains overlaid the existing cold air in the mountains.
Te Met Office director said since Shimla was near the plains, the impact of inversion layer was more here.
The weatherman said this trend would continue in the hills till the western disturbances -- storm systems originating from the Caspian Sea and moving across the Afghanistan-Pakistan region -- would be active in the region.
"But this week there is no chance of rain in the entire region," he added. (IANS)