Srinagar: Leh, in the Ladakh region of the state, was the coldest recorded place as the mercury dropped over 15 degrees Celsius below the freezing point, even as few areas in the higher reaches of the Valley received fresh snowfall.
There was light snowfall in Gulmarg, Pahalgam and few other areas in the higher reaches of Kashmir last night, an official of the Meteorological Department said here.
He said owing to cloudy sky, the night temperatures in many areas in Kashmir, including the summer capital Srinagar, increased.
The capital city recorded the minimum temperature of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius – an increase of two degrees from yesterday, the official said.
The night temperature in Leh town of the frontier Ladakh region went down over 5 degrees from a low of minus 10.3 degrees Celsius the previous night to settle at a low of minus 15.6 degrees last night.
He said Leh was the coldest recorded place in the state.
The official said that the data for the nearby Kargil town was not available.
Gulmarg — the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir — recorded a low of minus 9.4 degrees Celsius – colder from the previous night’s minus 9 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 – decreased over four degrees from a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius the previous night to settle at a low of minus 8.4 degrees Celsius.
He said that Kokernag town in south Kashmir registered a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to minus 3.4 degrees Celsius on the previous night.
The official said that the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius – up from the previous night’s minus 4 degrees Celsius.
Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day harshest winter period in Kashmir, when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
It ends on January 31, 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).
Meanwhile, a bright sunshine for the second day today brought some respite to the people of Jammu as the city recorded a low of 5.1 degrees Celsius, several notches above the season’s lowest minimum temperature of 2.7 degrees Celsius on Thursday.
A MeT office spokesperson said the minimum temperature in the city of temples registered a drop of 1.6 notches compared to the previous night to settle at 5.1 degrees Celsius 2.2 degrees below normal during this part of the season.
The city had recorded the season’s lowest of 2.7 degrees Celsius on Thursday but marked four degrees improvement on Friday due to cloud cover.
A bright sun shone yesterday after remaining hidden behind the clouds over the past couple of days which led to almost five degrees increase in the day temperature which settled at 19.9 degrees Celsius, 1.8 degrees above normal during this part of the season.
The winter sun shone this morning as well, providing relief to the people from the cold night.
The high altitude areas of Jammu region experienced light snowfall over the past few days, as a result of which several parts including Bhaderwah and Banihal are reeling under sub- zero night temperature.
The spokesman said Bhaderwah in Doda district was the coldest recorded place in Jammu region with a low of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius followed by Banihal at minus 0.2 degrees Celsius.
Katra town, which serves as the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district, was slightly warmer than Jammu city at a low of 5.6 degrees Celsius.
The town has recorded a minimum of 7.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, the spokesman said. (PTI)