Gulmarg freezes at – 10.4 degree Celsius
Srinagar, Dec 31: The chilly weather conditions have intensified as the mercury dipped and settled several degrees below normal due to open skies across Kashmir valley, where world famous ski resort of Gulmarg was the coldest place at minus 10.4 degree.
However, there was some improvement in the day temperature due to sunshine though ice cold winds continued in the valley, where is expected to remain dry during the next 48 hours.
Meanwhile, people continued to suffer as all the waterbodies in the Union Territory of Ladakh remained frozen even as the maximum and minimum temperatures have been settling below freezing point. The border town of Kargil was the coldest place in the region as the mercury dipped about 1 degree from Wednesday and settled at minus 18.5 degree, followed by Leh at minus 15.8 degree.
A Met department spokesperson said the weather will remain dry during the next 48 hours, resulting in further dip in the minimum temperature though the day temperature is expected to improve.
He said a fresh Western Disturbance (WD), which originated from the Arabian Sea and is approaching the region though Afghanistan and Pakistan, will hit J&K on Saturday. “Under the influence of this WD, light to heavy snow and rain is expected for four days from Saturday,” he added.
Even though there was a slight improvement in the night temperature due to partial clouds, Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, was the coldest place in the valley. Against minus 11 degree recorded on Wednesday, the night temperature at the ski resort settled at minus 10.4 degree, which is 4 degree below normal.
Tourists woke up to a chilly Thursday morning in Gulmarg, which is covered under several feet of snow. But, as the day progressed sun came out from behind the clouds, resulting in some improvement in the maximum temperature though ice cold winds continued. “Tourists are thronging in large number in Gulmarg to celebrate New Year. All the hotels in the ski resort are completely booked and tourists are having a time of their lives. Despite chilly conditions they are out on ski slopes enjoying different snow related activities,” a hotelier said.
People woke up to a sunny but chilly Thursday morning in Srinagar, which witnessed a dip of about 4 degrees in the night temperature. Against minus 2.1 degree recorded on Wednesday, the night temperature in the city was minus 5.9 degree, which is about 4 degree below normal.
The night temperature at world famous health resort of Pahalgam dipped marginally and settled at minus 9.6 degree, which is over 4 degree below normal.
The mercury at Qazigund, gateway to the valley, Kupwara in north Kashmir, tourist resort of Kokernag dipped and settled at minus 6.2 degree, minus 5.8 degree and minus 7.8 degree, respectively.