Tathagata Sthal, a pilgrimage site at Rabong in South Sikkim, after the snowfall on Thursday.
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Siliguri / Kolkata: Proving the weather forecast true, parts of Darjeeling Hills and Sikkim have witnessed light rains and snowfall since this morning causing joy to tourists and pain to the residents.

This is on a day the temperature in Kolkata and most other parts of the state dipped further. The forecast is that the mercury will continue with the free-fall till Sunday (30 December).

Places like Ghoom, Sonada, Jorbangla, Pedong, Rishop, Lava, Sandakphu, etc. in the Darjeeling Hills witnessed light rains in the morning.

Around noon, it started raining hailstones and, by afternoon came a light snowfall.

The minimum temperature in Darjeeling was today only 1 Degree Celsius, the lowest in anywhere in Bengal.

The weather office has forecast that the temperature will dip further in Darjeeling Hills at least till 30 December.

In the neighbouring state Sikkim, most of the hinterlands, have been witnessing light to moderate snowfall since Thursday night.

The snowfall picked up a pace today morning. In the afternoon, several parts of the state, including the capital Gangtok witnessed a shower of hailstones.

Sikkim tourist destinations like Rabong, Lachen and, Lachung have received light to moderate snowfall and the sites have been covered by all-white snow.

Weather forecast for Sikkim says, barring South Sikkim, the rest of the state is likely to experience more snowfall till 2 January. This is because of a western disturbance and a cyclonic circulation prevailing over the Andhra-Odisha coast.

As regards Kolkata, the minimum temperature today fell further to 11.2 Degree Celsius from what was 11.5 Degree Celsius. Today, the minimum temperature was 2.6 notches below normal and is the lowest December temperature in the past six years.

The situation in the rest of Bengal is not any better. Siliguri today recorded the minimum temperature at 7.1 Degree Celsius, Santiniketan 7.8 Degree Celsius, Behrampore 7.6 Degree Celsius, Barrackpore 7.9 Degree Celsius, Cooch Behar 8.3 Degree Celsius, Jalpaiguri 8.6 Degree Celsius and, Burdwan 8.8 Degree Celsius.

The maximum temperature in the state today did not cross 24.1 Degree Celsius as against 26.5 degree Celsius yesterday.

The weather office has said that this will drop further by at least two more notches in the next 48-hours to 22 degree Celsius.

A warning for cold wave has been sounded till 30 December for all of south Bengal, minus Kolkata. As regards north Bengal, the warning is for dense fog resulting in extremely poor visibility. This will delay train movements and, increasing the risk of road accidents.