Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

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A train moves on snow covered railway tracks after the season's first snowfall in Anantnag, south Kashmir.

Photo: PTI Photo

Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

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Vehicles ply on Rajpath, as fog envelopes New Delhi on Saturday morning.

Photo: Kamal Singh/ PTI Photo

Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

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Vehicles move cautiously on the Srinagar-Gulmarg Road near Tangmarg, during heavy snowfall on Thursday.

Photo: PTI Photo

Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

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Indian men gather around a fire under a highway overpass in an effort to keep warm during a cold rainy morning in New Delhi.

Photo: Roberto Schmidt/ AFP Photo

Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

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A view of the Central Reserve Police Force vehicles covered with snow during heavy snowfall near Jawahar Tunnel, in the Pir Panjal mountain range at Qazigund in Anantnag.

Photo: PTI Photo

Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

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People warm themselves near a fire during a cold day in Meerut on Saturday.

Photo: PTI Photo

Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

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People walk in heavy snowfall at Pir Panchal in Anantnag on Sunday.

Photo: PTI Photo

Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

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A man rides his bicycle on a foggy winter morning at Rajpath in New Delhi. Bone-chilling temperatures have gripped northern India with foggy conditions frequently disrupting rail, road and air traffic.

Photo: Chandan Khanna/ AFP Photo

Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

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An elderly man along with his grandson, walks with their sheep on a snow covered road after heavy snowfall at Dooru Shahabaad, Anantnag.

Photo: PTI Photo

Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

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People shop for warm clothes from street vendors at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Sunday.

Photo: PTI Photo

Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

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A man walks on a snow-covered road after heavy snowfall in Qazigund.

Photo: PTI Photo

WINTER IS HERE

Keep a heater on standby: these photos are going to give you the chills

Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB

If North India and winter had a relationship status, it would be "It's complicated".

There are wonderful upsides to winter - but the sudden, sharp drop the region has seen over the past few days have caught most people unawares.

Several parts of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh were swept by a cold wave over the weekend with temperatures dipping below freezing point.

Read: Temperature in Delhi falls to single digit, north India gears up for another deadly winter

Gulmarg hit minus 11 degrees Celsius late Saturday night while Leh experienced the coldest night of the season so far as the mercury hit minus 12 on Sunday. The drop was dramatic - over seven degrees below the previous night's minimum temperature. Jammu city, in comparison, must have felt almost balmy: the minimum temperature was 6.5.

Meanwhile in Himachal, Saturday saw a post-snowfall temperature of minus 1.6 degrees and remained below the freezing point in many other parts of the state. Keylong, headquarters of the Lahaul-Spiti district got 10 cm snow, while Kalpa in Kinnaur district was carpeted by 11 cm snow and a low of minus 2.6 degrees celsius. State capital Shimla woke to chilly showers that took the temperature down to 3 degrees C.

The week started on a super-cold note for Delhi, too - the previous day's minimum was 11.5 degrees C but Monday morning saw the mercury dip to 6.8 degrees celsius, a drop of nearly five notches overnight. It was definitely lower than the season's average, said MeT officials.

Cold wave conditions swept many parts of Punjab and Haryana as well, with Amritsar and Ludhiana seeing temperatures similar to Delhi.

Weather officials explained the sudden dip as the result of 'western disturbances', or extra-tropical storms in the Mediterranean Sea that cause rain and snow in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. They had been active over Jammu and Kashmir for the past few days but have now weakened, so weather across the state - and the region as a whole - is likely to get mildly warmer.

Still, don't put those heaters too far away - the winter's here to stay.

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Priyata Brajabasi

Priyata Brajabasi @PriyataB