Minus 7.7 in Srinagar, mercury below -11 in Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Kokernag; traffic from Srinagar to Jammu today
Srinagar: While the end of Chillai-Kalaan draws closer, intense cold-wave conditions only seem to be tightening their grip on Kashmir, with the mercury plunging further in several parts of the valley to some of the lowest temperatures recorded in recent years.
As per weather officials, Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 7.7 degree Celsius on Friday, dipping two degrees further from the previous night’s low of minus 5.6, while the maximum temperature was 2.1 degree Celsius. Qazigund recorded a low of minus 10.8 degree Celsius, lower than the minus 10.5 degree Celsius on the earlier night, and a maximum of 2.3 degree.
Pahalgam recorded the coldest minimum temperature on Friday in Kashmir, of minus 12.0 degree Celsius, though slightly up from minus 12.3 degree Celsius a night before, with the maximum being just 0.5 degree. Kokernag recorded minus 11.4 degree Celsius, down from minus 10.7 on the previous night, and maximum of 1.9.
In Gulmarg, the mercury settled at a low of minus 11.3 degree Celsius, up from minus 13.4 degree Celsius on the earlier night, while the maximum was as low as minus 2.3 degree. Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a minimum of minus 3.0 degree Celsius, down from minus 2.2 degree Celsius on the previous night.
Water supply lines were left frozen again on Friday morning, leaving people struggling to extract even a drop of water from their taps. People across Kashmir valley including in Srinagar were seen using old traditional methods to unfreeze the pipelines and taps in their homes.
The roads too were covered with a thick layer of frost in the morning. Vehicles plying in the early morning in Srinagar and elsewhere had to face a tough time over the slippery roads. However, as the day progressed, the condition of the roads eased.
The 40-day harshest period of ‘’Chillai-Kalaan’’ will be ending on January 31. This period will be followed by another 20-day-long period of “Chillai-Khurd”.
The weather office has predicted wet spell across Kashmir valley from 31st of this month to the 3rd of February. However, as per the officials, there will be only light snowfall in both higher reaches as well as plains, with the major possibility of precipitation being on 2nd and 3rd February.
“The weather will remain inclement for four days, staring 31st January. On the 31st and 1st January, light snowfall is likely to occur in higher reaches except in some low lying areas of the valley. After this on 2nd and 3rd, the plains along with higher reaches will receive snowfall, though the intensity will be light. In plains, there will be 2-4 inches of snowfall while as in higher reaches, six inches of snowfall is expected to occur,” Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Deputy Director of J&K Meteorological Department, told Kashmir Reader.
He added that the minimum temperatures will witness an increase after the end of Chillai-Kalaan, and from the beginning of February the nights will experience an improvement while as the days will record normal temperatures.
Traffic on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway will ply from Srinagar towards Jammu on Saturday, the traffic department said, subject to fair weather and road conditions. Only one-way traffic shall be allowed from Srinagar towards Jammu including the local traffic plying in Ramban and Banihal, it said.
Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) shall be allowed from 10 AM in the morning till 2 PM in the afternoon from Qazigund towards Jammu. Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) shall be allowed from Qazigund towards Jammu after the clearance of LMVs.