TODAY -
Sikkim continues to reel under severe cold wave
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Agencies

Gangtok, January 05 2008: Sikkim continued to reel under a severe cold wave since the New Year 2009 dawned with today's average minimum temperature recorded below 7 degrees in the low altitude areas while it was below zero degrees in higher altitudes of the State.

January 2 was the coldest day for Sikkim with the minimum temperature dropping to 4.3 degrees Celsius in Gangtok and since then mercury levels has refused to go above 7 degrees.

The minimum temperature recorded today at Gangtok was 6.9 degree Celsius that was 2 degrees below normal, informed the local met office official AK Kar.

He added that the maximum temperature was 12.8 degree Celsius, four degrees below normal during this time of the year.

The met office said that this is the seventh spell of the Western Disturbance passing through the State since the end of November last.

The week long current spell is expected to move in a day or two which may be followed by a fresh cold wave in 3-4 days time.

The cold wave is expected to continue till the next month, it was informed.

Meanwhile, the higher reaches in the State continue to witness a very heavy snowfall, rendering the alpine lakes like Gurudongmar and Changu frozen.

Local tour operators today informed that due to heavy snowfall, tourists are still not able to go beyond 17 Mile due to heavy snowfall, missing popular tourism spots like Changu lake, Baba Mandir and Nathula since December 24 .

It may be recalled that some 1350 tourists had got stranded on their way back to Gangtok from visiting these places last Friday and were rescued by the next evening only.

However, if it is the snow that tourists wants, then they are getting it plenty and do not have to reach the above spots at all.

They are enjoying the snow at nearby places like 15th Mile, some 15 kms away from Gangtok on the way to Nathu La.

Met office has informed six snow gauges have been installed at Changu, Nathang and Sherathang in East district and at Thangu, Lachung and Lachen in North district.

A total of 25 snowgauges had been proposed for the State, out of which 14 have already been approved by the Centre.

It is informed that regular recording of data is expected to be available in a few days after a proper communication system with the Army is established who are controlling these at present.


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