Heavy rain and snow at isolated places in mid and higher hills on February 4 and 5 due to fresh western disturbance. The district administration has been alerted to take necessary precautions. The department has predicted rain and thundershower in lower hills over the next three days.The intense cold wave conditions continue unabated in high reaches of the Himalayas and tribal areas. Mercury continues to stay below freezing point in Keylong and Kalpa recording a low of minus 7.9 degrees C and minus 0.4 degrees C.The tourist resort of Manali recorded minimum temperature at 3.2 degrees C. Minimum temperatures rose marginally to 7.2 degrees C in Sundernagar,7.8 degrees C in Shimla, 8 degrees C in Palampur, 8.2 degrees C in Dharamsala, 8.5 degrees C in Una and 9.1 degrees C in Nahan.The day temperatures rose to 24.4 degrees C at Una, 22.5 degrees C at Solan, 19.9 degree C in Sundernagar, 19.6 degrees C in Shimla, 19.2 degrees C in Nahan, 19 degrees C in Bhuntar, 15.2 degrees C in Dharmshala, 14.8 degrees C in Manali and 7.6 degrees C in Kalpa.The rains and snow had cheered apple growers as it provided much needed chilling hours and moisture. They await more snow for a better crop.However, chances of yellow rust attack on wheat crop have increased. The Agriculture Department has launched a special awareness drive to educate the farmers.Director (Agriculture) Dr Ramesh Chand, said, “Wheat is the main rabi crop sown over 3.58 lakh hectares. Continued low temperature and moisture can lead to the outbreak of yellow rust.”Under the plan 70,000 quintals of yellow rust resistant seeds and 15,000 kg carbendazim fungicide has been supplied to farmers. So far no case of yellow rust has been reported from the state.