Srinagar: Cold wave continued in Kashmir as the night temperature stayed several degrees below the freezing point but people experienced some relief after the mercury increased slightly at most places.
Kargil, in Ladakh region, was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir as the minimum temperature there settled at minus 11.4 degrees Celsius last night, an increase of nearly four degrees from minus 15.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, an official of the MET department said.
He said the nearby Leh town recorded a low of minus 9.6 degrees Celsius, an increase of over three degrees from the previous night’s minus 13.1 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature at Srinagar–the state’s summer capital–settled at minus 2 degrees Celsius last night, compared to minus 2.1 degrees Celsius on the previous night.
The official said the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius, compared to minus 1 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius, down from yesterday’s zero degrees Celsius, he said.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius last night, the official said.
He said the mercury at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, up from the previous night’s minus 7 degrees Celsius.
The resort continued to be the coldest recorded place in the valley.
The night temperature in Pahalgam–the famous health resort which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra–recorded a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius, up nearly two degrees from minus 5.9 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai Kalan’, 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
It ends on January 31 next year, but the cold wave continues even after that in the valley. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold).
The MET office has forecast mainly dry weather in the valley over the next few days.