Kashmir Valley in grip of cold wave

Srinagar: Kashmir Valley continued to reel under intense cold wave as the mercury settled several degrees below freezing point at all weather stations.

Kargil was the coldest recorded place in the state as the minimum temperature there dipped to minus 15.4 degrees Celsius, a plunge of 8.3 degrees compared to previous night, an official of the MET department said.

This was the coldest night recorded in Kargil this winter but the town had witnessed same night temperature on 19 December as well, the official said.

Nearby Leh town recorded a low of minus 12.7 degrees Celsius, down nearly five degrees compared to previous night’s minus 8 degrees Celsius, he said.

Srinagar city had recorded its coldest night yesterday at minus 4.2 degrees Celsius but the residents witnessed some respite last night as the mercury rose to minus 2.6 degrees Celsius, the official said.

He said the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius, compared to minus 3.6 degrees Celsius the previous night.

Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 1.6 degrees Celsius – up from yesterday’s minus 2.9 degrees Celsius, he said.

Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius last night, same as previous night, the official said.

He said the mercury in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius – one degree above previous night’s minus 5.5 degrees Celsius.

The night temperature in Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 4.9 degrees Celsius up from minus 6.5 degrees Celsius, the official said.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, a 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).

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