Srinagar: Leh experienced its coldest night this winter as the minimum temperature there settled nearly 14 degrees Celsius below the freezing point, even as the mercury continued its downward spiral in Kashmir valley and Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir.
Leh town, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded a minimum night temperature of 13.8 degrees Celsius, against minus 11.4 degrees Celsius of the previous night, MeT officials here said.
It was the season’s lowest night temperature in the town, which was the coldest recorded place in the state last night, they said.
The official said the night temperature at the nearby Kargil town settled at a low of minus 11.2 degrees Celsius, a drop of two degrees from the previous night.
Srinagar city, the summer capital of J-K, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 3.5 degrees Celsius, down from minus 2.8 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius, down down from minus 2.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 0.4 degrees Celsius, the weather department official said.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 4.1 degrees Celsius last night, down from the previous night’s minus 3.5 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said the mercury at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 6.6 degrees Celsius, a degree colder than the previous night’s minus 5.4 degrees Celsius.
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 5.5 degrees Celsius compared to yesterday’s minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – the 40-day period of harshest winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
‘Chillai Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave is likely to continue even after that in the valley, the MeT officials said.
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 weather office has forecast mainly dry weather in Kashmir over the next few days.