People warm themselves around a fire in Guwahati on Monday. Picture by Manash Das
Guwahati: Shillong shivered on Monday as the temperature in the Meghalaya capital plummeted to 0.7 degree Celsius, seven degrees below normal and the lowest in a decade.
Shillong had last recorded its coldest January in 2011 at 0.8 degree Celsius – a temperature it recorded again on Sunday. On Saturday, its minimum temperature was 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“The weather here, though always cold, has been unbearable in the past two days,” Rosanna Lyngdoh, an employee in a restaurant at Police Bazar, said. “Our business has been affected as less people are coming out of home since Saturday,” she added.
The temperature in Cherapunjee or Sohra, a popular tourist spot in Meghalaya, went down to 2.7 degrees Celsius on Monday, 4.2 degrees Celsius below normal.
The weatherman says the cold wave will prevail over isolated pockets in Meghalaya and western Assam in the next 24 hours. Dhubri town in west Assam recorded a minimum temperature of 6.4 degrees Celsius, 5.3 degrees below normal.
Myodia in Arunachal Pradesh witnessed snowfall while the temperatures in other parts of the Northeast plunged in the past 24 hours. Tourists at Myodia in Upper Dibang Valley district were excited but the snow affected the tourist town’s road communication with Tinsukia in Upper Assam.
In the streets of Guwahati, people were seen huddled around small fires as the minimum temperature dipped to 6.9 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal. On Sunday, the city had recorded a minimum temperature of 9.2 degrees Celsius.
Elsewhere in the region, Imphal recorded a minimum temperature of 3 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Celsius below the normal temperature) followed by Aizawl (4.4 degrees Celsius), Kohima (5 degrees Celsius), Agartala (7.9 degrees Celsius) and Itanagar (9.6 degrees Celsius).
“Dense to very dense fog is likely to occur at isolated pockets over western Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura in the early morning or morning hours on Tuesday. Moderate to dense fog is likely to occur in isolated pockets over Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura till Friday,” the Regional Meteorological Centre at Borjhar here has forecast.
Weather officials in Agartala said Tripura recorded the coldest day of the season with the minimum temperature recorded at 7.9 degrees Celsius. An official of the local meteorological department said there was heavy mist and fog in the morning but the sky was mainly clear throughout the day. The day’s maximum temperature was 17.4 degrees Celsius.
Dry chilly winds blew in Agartala the entire day. Pavement dwellers were seen warming themselves around small bonfires in several parts of the town, including the Paradise Chowmuhani and Maharajganj Bazar areas. Meteorological officials are expecting the minimum temperature to hover around 8 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.
SUMIR KARMAKAR Telegraph India