Cold Wave: Kargil freezes at minus 20 degrees C

Srinagar: Kargil town in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir recorded its coldest night this season as mercury fell over 20 degrees below the freezing point while the valley also recorded sub-zero temperatures.

The minimum temperature in Kargil town plummeted over 14 degrees from the previous night’s low of minus 6.1 degrees Celsius to settle at a low of minus 20.6 degrees Celsius, an official of the MET department said here.

Not only was Kargil the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir, last night was also the coldest night of the winter so far there. Nearby Leh town recorded a minimum temperature of minus 16.6 degrees Celsius last night down from minus 14.7 degrees the previous night, the official said.

This was the lowest night temperature of the season last night in Leh as well.

Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, recorded the low of minus 4.1 degrees Celsius, marginally up from minus 4.3 degrees Celsius yesterday, the official said.

Bright sunshine during the days has led to cold wave intensifying in the valley while many stagnant water bodies have a thin layer of ice formed every night.

The official said the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 1.7 degrees Celsius, an increase from the previous night’s minus 3.4 degrees Celsius.

Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius last night, he said.

He said the mercury at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius compared to minus 6 degrees Celsius yesterday.

The official said 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 6.1 degrees Celsius.

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).

Meanwhie, the residents of winter capital Jammu today woke up to a foggy and chilly morning as the minimum temperature nosedived to the season’s lowest at 4.3 degrees Celsius.

A dense fog engulfed the city of temples, resulting in the cancellation of an Air India flight and delayed operations at the airport, officials said today.

However, the operations at Jammu airport resumed around 1.20 pm after improvement in the visibility.

“Barring one cancellation, the rest of the flights scheduled for the day operated with some delay”, an official at the Airport told PTI.

According to a spokesman of northern railways, the rail traffic was also disrupted due to the dense fog.

“There was delay in the arrival and departure of the trains in the morning due to the dense fog,” the spokesman said.

The bus service in the city and other routes was also hit by the dense fog as drivers were forced to drive cautiously, a police official said, adding there was no report of any accident due to the dense fog.

A spokesman of the MET office said the minimum temperature in Jammu city fell to 4.3 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s 6 degrees Celsius.

“This is the lowest temperature recorded in the city, which is also three degrees below normal during this part of the season” the spokesperson added.

He said Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting the famous Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district, also registered a slight dip in the minimum temperature which settled at 6.2 degrees Celsius.

The night temperature is on decline across the region, with Bhaderwah in Doda district recording a low of minus 0.1 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.


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