Officials said Uttar Pradesh reported around 30 cold-related deaths since Sunday, while 11 people succumbed to freezing weather in nearby Bihar, where the government ordered closure of schools for three days starting Tuesday.
A Met official said Patna recorded a minimum temperature of 8.8°Celsius followed by Gaya (6.6).
Haryana reported two deaths, taking the toll from winter-related fatalities across the region this season to over 100. UP alone had last winter reported 151 cold-related deaths.
Night-long snowfall in Kashmir's upper reaches cut off the Valley from rest of the country, as the lifeline Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for the second day. About 2,000 vehicles are believed to be stranded along the highway - the Valley's only link to the outside world. Visibility at the Srinagar international airport also affected air operations.
There was no let up in cold wave as mercury continued to remain sub-zero in the Ladakh region; Kargil recorded a minimum of minus 16.8° Celsius while Leh shivered at minus 13.6. South Kashmir's Qazigund was the coldest place in the valley at a low of minus 5.6°Celsius followed by Pahalgam at minus 4.1.
Cold wave intensified in Himachal Pradesh, as the state's higher reaches experienced heavy snowfall, while rains lashed the lower areas. "The rains, which broke a long dry spell, should bring cheer to farmers ahead of Rabi sowing," a Met official said. All government and private schools in Ludhiana were closed till January 8, even as cold conditions abated in Punjab and Haryana with minimum temperature rising by up to three notches.