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Himachal chilly, may not snow though

IANS | Shimla |

Large parts of Himachal Pradesh reeled under severe cold on Wednesday, with the minimum temperature staying below freezing point, the weather bureau said.

However, the weather would largely remain dry till New Year's Eve, it said.

The state capital Shimla saw rise in its night temperature at 10.5 degrees Celsius owing to cloudy conditions. It saw a low of 6.9 degrees a day earlier.

Popular destination Manali, which was yet to experience snow, recorded a low of 2.2 degrees Celsius.

According to a Met department official here, Shimla and its nearby tourist spots like Kufri, Fagu and Narkanda, Kasauli, Chail, Manali, Dharamsala, Palampur and Dalhousie might experience long sunny days till December 31.

"There is less chance of snow or rain across the state till December 31," the official said.

Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district was the coldest in the state with a low of minus 3.1 degrees Celsius.

Kalpa, some 250 km from here in Kinnaur district, saw the minimum temperature at 1.4 degrees Celsius, while it was 8.8 degrees in Dharamsala and 3.5 degrees in Solan.

Shimla and its nearby destinations, Kalpa and Dalhousie experienced season's first snowfall on December 25. But it melted within a few hours owing to accompanying rains.

Tourism industry representatives were worried as most of the popular destinations were bereft of snow cover that might dampen the spirit of New Year's Eve revellers.