Srinagar: The minimum temperature at most places in Kashmir settled below the freezing point, even as the weather office forecast light to moderate snowfall at fairly widespread places over two days in next two days, officials said.
“Light to Moderate Snow(2-3 Inches) in plains and moderate snow(5-6 Inches) over higher reaches most likely from later tonight (Dec 26) till tomorrow (27th Evening/Night). Some places of higher reaches may receive upto 1feet of snow,” said an official of the MeT office said regarding Kashmir.
Regarding Jammu, the officials said that light to moderate rain very likely from later tonight (December 26) and December 27) with light to moderate snowfall over places like Doda-Kistawar, Jawahar Tunnel(Top), Pirpanjal etc.
Regarding Ladakh, he said, “light to Moderate snow at many places of Kargil and ay scattered places of Leh dist. During 26th(Night) to 27th(Night). Moderate to Heavy snow is most likely on Zojila-Minamarg axis.”
Barring Kokernag and Pahalgam, the minimum temperature decreased across the valley on Saturday night, the officials said.
Srinagar recorded a low of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius on Saturday night, down from the previous night’s 1.7 degrees Celsius.
They said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded a minimum of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius.
The nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, up from minus 5.1 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The minimum temperature in Gulmarg settled at a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius — a degree down from the previous night.
Kashmir valley is currently under the grip of the 40-day harshest winter period known as ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ which began on Tuesday.
‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ is a period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.
The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy to very heavy snowfall.
The ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).