Intensified cold conditions prevail in Kashmir

Srinagar: Bright sunshine provided slight relief to residents of Kashmir in the daytime but Kargil town continued to reel under intense cold conditions with the mercury staying six degrees below the freezing point

The minimum temperature fell to a bone-chilling minus 18.5 degrees Celsius in Kargil town yesterday, an official of the MET department said today.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded its coldest night this winter at minus 6.1 degrees Celsius — marginally down from minus 6 degrees Celsius recorded the previous night.

Bright sunshine during the day, however, has come as a bit of relief for the residents as the maximum temperature yesterday settled at 10.2 degrees Celsius.

While the night temperature in Qazigund, in south Kashmir, dipped to a low of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius, down from minus 4.6 degrees Celsius on the previous night, the neighbouring Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, a marginal rise from yesterday’s minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, the official said.

He said Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.5 degrees Celsius, compared to the previous night’s minus 4.6 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg – the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir – recorded a low of minus 10.6 degrees Celsius, down from minus 9.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The night temperature in Pahalgam – the famous health resort which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra increased marginally from the low of minus 8.9 degrees Celsius the previous night to settle at a low of minus 8.1 degrees Celsius last night.

The night temperature in Leh town of Ladakh went down marginally from a low of minus 16.8 degrees Celsius the previous night to settle at a low of minus 17.3 degrees last night, the official said.

He said it was the lowest night temperature of the season in Leh.

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).

The MET Office has said the weather is likely to remain dry over the next week.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature in most places in Jammu region recorded a dip with people in the city of temples waking up to 4 degree Celsius three degrees below normal during this part of the season.

However, the morning chill vanished with bright sun appearing for the third day providing much needed relief to the people from the cold night.

The city has registered the season’s lowest minimum temperature of 2.7 degrees Celsius on January 4.

Against the previous night’s 5.1 degrees Celsius, the night temperature fell in Jammu city and settled at 4 degrees Celsius, a spokesperson of MET department said.

The snow-bound Bhaderwah in Doda district was the coldest recorded place in Jammu region where the minimum temperature stayed below freezing point.

The town registered an improvement of 0.7 degrees in the minimum temperature which settled at minus 1.1 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.

Katra, which serves as the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district, recorded a low of 5 degrees Celsius, registering a drop compared to the previous night, the spokesman said.

He said Banihal town along Jammu-Srinagar national highway marked an improvement in the night temperature which rose to 2.6 degrees Celsius from minus 0.2 degrees Celsius the previous night. (PTI)

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