Srinagar: There was some respite for residents of Kashmir from intense cold as the minimum temperature rose by several degrees at most places in the valley and Ladakh region.
There was a considerable improvement in the minimum temperature in the valley and Ladakh region last night.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius, nearly three notches up from minus 6.3 degrees the previous night which was the coldest night of this winter so far.
Record low temperature over last few days in the city had led to freezing of fringes of famous Dal Lake and other water bodies as well as water supply pipes.
An official of the MET department said the night temperature in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at minus 2.8 degrees Celsius–up from yesterday’s minus 5.4 degrees.
The neighbouring Kokernag town saw the mercury rise to minus 1.6 degrees Celsius compared to minus 2.9 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, up from minus 5.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 8.5 degrees Celsius, while in Pahalgam, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, a low of minus 3.3 degrees Celsius was recorded last night, up minus 7.5 degrees the previous night.
Kargil town in Ladakh region continued to remain the coldest recorded place in the state as the minimum temperature there settled at minus 20.6 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said the nearby Leh town was the second coldest place as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 14.6 degrees Celsius, compared to minus 17.4 degrees Celsius the preious night.
Meanwhile, the MET office has forecast mainly dry weather in the state over the next week.
“The weather is likely to remain dry till January 17 and we are expecting some precipitation on January 18,” Meteorological Department, Srinagar, director Sonam Lotus told PTI.
He, however, said the MET office was not expecting heavy precipitation which could have otherwise resulted in heavy rains or snowfall in Kashmir which is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’–the harshest 40-day period of winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum.
“We are not expecting heavy precipitation. So, there is no forecast of heavy snowfall as of now. But, we are monitoring its intensity and distribution, whether it will be light or moderate and in higher reaches only or in plains as well,” he said.