Intense cold wave continues in Kashmir; Drass freezes at minus 17.3 degree

Intense cold wave continues in Kashmir; Drass freezes at minus 17.3 degree

Srinagar, Dec 23: There was still no respite from chilly weather conditions even as there was slight improvement in the night temperature though the mercury settled several degrees below freezing point in Kashmir valley.
Meanwhile, all the water bodies, including ponds and khuls, were frozen in Ladakh, where the border area of Drass, which is the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, shivered at minus 17.3 degree.
However, sun greeted people in the valley on Sunday morning, improving the maximum temperature which settled above normal, though ice cold winds continued.
A Met department spokesperson said that weather will remain dry during the next three days in Kashmir valley, which could result in further dip in the night temperature.
He said a fresh Western Disturbance, which originated from the Arabian Sea and is approaching the region though Afghanistan and Pakistan, will hit J&K on Wednesday. However, he said the WD will have little impact and could result in rain and snow at isolated places.
Even though there was slightly improvement in the night temperature at border town of Kargil, it was still the second place in the region, after Drass, at minus 14.5 degree. The nigh temperature in the neighbouring town of Leh dipped about 2 degree from Saturday and settled at minus 14.3 degree.
He said the sky would be mainly clear to partly cloudy during the next 24 hours in Leh, when maximum and minimum temperature would be around 5 degree and minus 15 degree respectively.
After witnessing an improvement of about a degree in the night temperature, people in the summer capital, Srinagar woke up to a chilly Sunday morning. Against minus 5.4 degree recorded on Saturday, the night temperature in Srinagar was minus 4.4 degree, which is about 2 degree below normal.
Parts of the Dal Lake and other water bodies, particularly near the banks and interior areas, were frozen in Srinagar, where the Shikarawalas were struggling to move their boats due to frozen water in the morning. However, as the day progressed, sun came out, resulting in melting of the frozen water, though the weather remained chilly due to ice cold winds.
He said the sky would be mainly clear during the next 24 hours in Srinagar, where maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 9 degree and minus 4 degree, respectively.
World famous ski resort of Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, was the only place in the region where the night temperature settled slightly above normal. The night temperature in Gulmarg, where the ski slopes are covered under two to three feet of snow, dipped half-a-degree and settled at minus 5.5 degree.
Despite an improvement of about a degree from Saturday in the night temperature, world famous tourist resort of Pahalgam was the coldest place in Kashmir valley. Against minus 7.4 degree recorded on Saturday, the night temperature in Pahalgam was minus 6.7 degree, which is still about 2 degree below normal.
The mercury at Qazigund, gateway to the valley, Kupwara in north Kashmir and tourist resort of Kokernag improved and settled at minus 4.2 degree, minus 5.6 degree and minus 3.8 degree, respectively. The night temperatures in these places were several degrees below normal.