Water bodies freeze again as chill intensifies

Water bodies freeze again as chill intensifies
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Srinagar, Jan 29: Parts of the world famous Dal Lake and other water bodies were again frozen on Tuesday morning as night chill further intensified in the Kashmir valley, where Widespread rain and snow is predicted from Wednesday and Thursday.
Though sun was again out today, people continued to wear warm and woolen cloths due to cold breezes.
There could be widespread rain or snow in the Jammu and Kashmir on January 30 and 31 followed by scattered, isolated and fairly widespread rain during subsequent four days, a Met department spokesman said here this afternoon.
People in Drass, the second coldest place in the word, border town of Kargil and Leh in Ladakh region continued to shiver due to several notches below freezing point due to which all water bodies remained frozen.
Due to clear sky accompanied by cold breeze, the minimum temperature witnessed major drop in the Kashmir valley due to which all water bodies and water taps were again frozen today, when the 40-day-long chaila kalan, the severest period of winter, which started from December 21, ended. This will follow 20-day-long Chilai Khurd and 10 day long chilai bacha.
Parts of the Dal Lake, one of the major tourist attraction in summer capital, Srinagar, were again frozen this morning after the minimum temperature recorded over four notches drop. The shikarawalas were seen struggling to move forward after breaking the frozen surface in the lake. The Chunt-khul and other water bodies in the city were also frozen. However, as the day progress, sun was out due to which some parts of water bodies melted. Water supply was also affected in some areas after taps were frozen. However, due to fresh weather disturbance, the maximum temperature will witness drop while the minimum will improve in the valley.
Met spokesman said the minimum temperature dropped and settled at minus 5.4 degree, against yesterdays minus 3.2 degree when minus one degree is considered normal during this period of the winter. However, the day temperature was near normal.
He said there could be light rain or snow and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 4 degree and minus 2 degree respectively in Srinagar during the next 24 hours.
Drivers, mostly truckers, could be seen struggling to start their vehicles on Tuesday at Qazigund, where the minimum temperature recorded drop and settled at minus 7.8 degree. Drivers were seen heating tanks of their vehicles to defreeze mobile oil at Qazigund, the gateway of Kashmir on Srinagar-Jammu national highgway. Today traffic was plying from Srinagar to Jammu only.
There was almost no change in the mercury at world famous health resort of Pahalgam, where the minimum temperature was recorded minus 13.7 degree, over 7 degree below normal. The water bodies in the area, which serves as base camp for annual pilgrimage to holy Amarnath cave shrine in summer.
Kokernag, a tourist destination also in south Kashmir also recorded drop in the night temperature and was recorded minus 7.3 degree against yesterdays minus 3.7 degree.
The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, the minimum temperature witnessed slight improvement though it was still below normal. Against yesterdays minus 12.7 degree minimum temperature, it was minus 12.2 degree over 5 notches below normal. Those connected with the tourism industry said that several feet of snow on the slopes which has frozen, will extend the winter sports at Gulmarg.
Large number of tourists, including foreigners, besides locals are arriving at Gulmarg daily to enjoy skiing and other sports on the snow covered slopes, being considered best in the world. We are overjoyed that there is a forecast for more snow from tomorrow, the traders and horsewalas said.
Kupwara, where dozens of roads leading to far flung and remote areas remained closed due to accumulation of snow, also witnessed drop in the mercury. Against yesterdays minus 6.3 degree minimum temperature, it was minus 7.3 degree, about five notches below normal.
People in Ladakh region continued to shiver due to below freezing mercury due to which water bodies remained frozen. People in some areas are using spring water, which remained warm in winter and cold in summer. However, in some areas tanker water is being issued to people while at remote villages snow is being melted for daily uses.
The minimum temperature at Drass was 30.4 degree against yesterdays minus 31.4 degree while at Leh it was 17.4 degree against yesterdays minus 15.9 degree. At border town of Kargil it was minus 22.5 degree minimum temperature.
The sky would be cloudy followed by light snow and the maximum and minimum temperature would be around minus 1 degree and minus 12 degree respectively at Leh during the next 24 hours.