North India including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh Haryana and Punjab, continued to reel under cold wave conditions on Wednesday. The India Meteorological Department said severe cold weather conditions will continue for the next two days in most parts of North India. The weather department has attributed the cold wave to clear skies and low wind speed.

A cold wave is declared when the minimum temperature is at least 4.4 degrees Celsius below normal in at least two stations of a meteorological subdivision.

In New Delhi, the recorded minimum temperature on Wednesday was 5.4 degrees Celsius, three degrees below normal. The maximum temperature, recorded later in the day, stood at just 11.6 degrees Celsius, nine degrees below normal.

Narnaul in Haryana recorded a minimum temperature of 3.2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday – two notches below normal. Hisar too recorded below normal minimum temperature at 4.1 degree Celsius. Other areas in the state like Karnal, Rohtak, Bhiwani, Sirsa and Ambala also experienced biting cold.

In Punjab, Faridkot was the coldest place with a minimum temperature of 4.6 degree Celsius on Wednesday. Mercury dipped below 6 degree Celsius in Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda and Halwara.

Chandigarh, the common capital of the two states, recorded a minimum temperature of 6.9 degree Celsius. Day temperatures too dropped around six to nine notches below normal in the two states.

Most parts of northern India were engulfed in thick fog in the morning. At 5.30 am on Wednesday, visibility was as low as 25 metres in places like Churu, Lucknow, Dibrugarh, said the India Meteorological Department, according to ANI. In Chandigarh, Patiala, Dehradun, Guwahati, it was 50 metres.

The Haryana government, later in the day, ordered all private and public schools in the state to remain shut on Thursday, the Hindustan Times reported. “Due to intense cold waves in the state, the government has declared holiday on 26.12.2019 in all the private and government schools in the state,” the Haryana Directorate of School Education said in a statement.

Kuldeep Shrivastava, regional head of the India Meteorological Department, said that while there is some sunlight in parts of North India during the day, it is not intense enough to improve the situation. “The low cloud cover is still shrouding the entire region particularly parts of Punjab and Haryana,” he added.