Srinagar, Dec 21: The first day of 40-day-long Chilai-Kalan, the harshest period of winter, brings some relief after minimum temperature witness more than two degree surge though it was still 2.5 notches below normal in summer capital Srinagar, where major parts of the water bodies, including famed Dal Lake remained frozen.
There could be isolated very light rain or snow in the Kashmir valley and Ladakh and Gilgit and Baltistan, a MET spokesman said on Monday.
During the subsequent two days the weather will be mainly dry, he said.
The Chilai Kalan coldest period of winter began mid-night at 2400 hrs in the Kashmir valley, where minimum temperature witnessed surge. However, it was still below freezing point in most parts of the valley. During this 40 days all farming activities are coming to halt as farmers believe that earth goes dead and nothing can be produced.
Interestingly with the help of scientists some farmers are now growing vegetables and flowers in “ Green Houses” by maintaining temperature during the below freezing temperature outside.
This 40 day period will follow 20 day-long Chilai Khurd and ten-day-long Chilai Bacha.
People used to dry vegetables and fish during summer and later use them in winter in the valley upto 80s when Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained blocked due to snow and landslides for weeks together. Similar situation was witnessed last year when the national highway, the only road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, frequently remained closed due to landslides.
Now things has changed fresh vegetables are available in remotest parts of the valley though at higher prices. However, shopkeepers and vendors still use to sell dry vegetables and fish in the valley, including Srinagar.
Most parts of the famed Dal Lake and other water bodies, including nallahas and taps and water on roads remained frozen though there was more than two degree improvement in the minimum temperature. Against minus 6.4 degree recorded on Sunday, it was minus 4 degree, still 2.5 notches below normal.
Met spokesman said there could be mainly clear sky with morning fog and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be 9 degree and minus 6 degree respectively during the next 24 hours in Srinagar.
Gulmarg, a famed ski resort in north Kashmir also recorded improvement in the minimum temperature. Against yesterdays minus 7.5 degree, it was minus 6.4 degree which was about 1.5 notch below normal. The ski resort witnessed heavy rush of skiers and other adventure lovers.
The famed health resort of Pahalgam recorded minus 4.6 degree minimum temperature against yesterdays minus 7.7 degree.
Qazigund, gateway of Kashmir on Srinagar-Jammu national highway recorded minus 4.6 degree, an improvement of one degree, Kupwara minus 2.5 degree and Kokernag minus 3.9 degree.
There was however, no improvement in Ladakh region where border town of Kargil recorded minus 20 degree and Leh minus 13.1 degree. The sky would be mainly clear and the minimum and maximum temperatures would be around minus one degree and minus 18 degree during the next 24 hours in Leh.