Srinagar: Kashmir Valley witnessed no relief from dry weather conditions as the cold wave intensified in most parts of the valley and Ladakh division with Kargil town the coldest recorded place in the state.
Overcast conditions yesterday had raised hopes of rain or snowfall in Kashmir but there was no downpour and the skies cleared late last evening, leading to intensification of the cold wave.
Kashmir has been going through extremely dry and cold weather conditions this winter, leading to health related problems among the children and elderly.
The Metrological Department here has said that 18 districts of the state received no rainfall during the month’s first 15 days. As per the records of MeT Department, Kashmir Valley is witnessing its worst ever dry spell during the present winter period with the state at large witnessing a deficiency of almost 100 per cent.
“We have witnessed a minimal 0.5 mm rainfall instead of the average 46.3 mm rainfall during January 2018,” said an official.
As per the reports, the dry spell has also resulted in falling water levels in Kashmir’s rivers, which will cause a decline in the state’s hydroelectricity generation. It is currently around 2,457.96 MW, comprising 758 MW in the state sector, 1,680 MW in the central sector and 17.5 MW in the private sector.
Kashmir has been witnessing unusually dry weather conditions for the past few months. Even during the core winter period, precipitation remained extremely low. There was no snowfall in the upper reaches of the valley this year, with even the harshest period of winter in Kashmir, locally known as Chilla-i-Kalaan, passing with barely a flake.
Meanwhile, Kargil town, in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, continued to shiver as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 20 degrees Celsius last night, slightly down from minus 19.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, an official of the Meteorological Department here said.
He said Kargil continued to be the coldest recorded place in the state.
The nearby Leh town was the second coldest as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 8.8 degrees Celsius up several degrees from minus 14 degrees Celsius previous night.
He said Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius last night marginally down from minus 3.7 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The night temperature in Qazigund, in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 5.2 degrees Celsius, while the neighbouring Kokernag town registered a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius last night, the official said.
He said Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius, slightly up from the previous night’s minus 4.5 degrees Celsius.
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 settled at a low of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius compared to the low of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Gulmarg recorded the minimum temperature of minus 8 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, 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).