Srinagar: Night temperatures plummeted further across Kashmir Valley with mercury settling at minus 8.4°C in Srinagar, the lowest temperature of the season so far and the coldest January night in the past 25 years, the officials said on Thursday.
Director Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus told GNS it was after 25 years that the mercury has settled as low minus 8.4°C in Srinagar. “As per our record minimum temperature of minus 8.3°C was recorded in 1995,” he added.
The plunge in the mercury comes a day after the summer capital of J&K recorded a low of minus 7.8°C, which was same as recorded eight years ago on 14 January 2012. In 1991, the Srinagar had recorded low of minus 11.8°C while the lowest ever was endured on 31 January 1893. There are reports that Dal Lake and other water bodies here have frozen.
Similarly, the minimum temperatures continued far below than the normal in other parts of the Valley, settling at minus 11.1°C in Pahalgam against minus 11.3°C on the previous night in the world-famous health resort.
Qazigund, the gateway town of J&K, recorded a low of minus 10.0°C against 9.3°C on the previous night. Kokernag recorded a low of minus 10.3°C against minus 9.9°C on the earlier night.
Against minus 5.6°C on the previous night in Kupwara, the mercury settled at minus 6.7°C in the north Kashmir district, the official said.
Gulmarg, the world-famous skiing resort, recorded a low of minus 7.0°C against minus 10.0°C on the earlier night, the official said. Leh recorded a low of minus 14.0°C, Kargil minus 19.6°C while Drass was coldest at minus 28.3°C.
Kashmir is in the middle Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day winter period which commenced on December 21 and ends on January 31. The period is considered the harshest of the winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum. The cold wave, however, continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
Already, Kashmir Valley received heavy snowfall earlier this month, disrupting normal life. The Weatherman has forecast “mainly dry weather” in the next 24 hours and “no significant change till January 18”.