Cold wave persists as weatherman predicts moderate rainfall, snowfall in next few days
Srinagar: Extreme cold conditions prevailed in the valley on Saturday also, as night temperatures continued to remain at sub-zero level amid a cold wave.
The severe cold resulted in the freezing of several water bodies and reservoirs, including Dal Lake at many places. Exposed water supply lines to homes also froze, creating problems for residents in many areas.
According to state meteorological department, the night temperature in Srinagar dipped to a record low of –6.8 degrees Celsius in the past five years in the last 24 hours. The summer capital recorded the maximum temperature of 2.1 degrees Celsius.
The tourist destination of Pahalgam in South Kashmir recorded a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius while as the minimum temperature dived to a record low of -12 degrees Celsius
The MeT department has predicted more precipitation in view of the Western Disturbance moving over the state following which more rain and snow is expected during the next few days.
“Light to moderate rainfall and snowfall is expected in several areas of Kashmir in next few days,” an official at the weather department said.
Even as snowfall and subsequent development of icicles around rooftops refreshed good old memories of harsh winters in Kashmir, people also expressed anguish especially in view of the freezing of water supply pipes in their household.
Munasir Bhat, a resident of Rambagh, said he witnessed the freezing of the water supply pipes in his home for the first time.
“We had to wait till 1pm for the water supply to resume,” he told Reader.
Winter tourism destination Gulmarg also recorded the lowest night temperature of the season at -14.4 degrees Celsius.
“Although snowfall in Gulmarg is the main tourist attractions in winter,” Hilal Ahmad of Hotel Hilltop said, “The snowfall has failed to translate into tourist rush this season.”
Kashmir valley is undergoing a 40-day period of extreme cold, locally known as Chillai Kalan– between December 21 and January 29 – during which the region usually reels under sub-zero temperature.
Meanwhile, authorities have asked the people residing in Kangan sub-division, particularly from Gund to Sonamarg, and Tehsil Lar, Watlar, Waliwar, Chountiwaliwar, Chathangulabpora not to venture near slopes of hilly areas and other avalanche-prone areas from January 15 to January 17.