Cold wave tightens grip in Kashmir

Sgr shivers at minus 5.8 degree Celsius, other parts also record coldest night of season

Srinagar: Cold conditions intensified in Kashmir as the minimum temperature dipped several degrees below the freezing point and many places experienced the season’s coldest night, officials said Sunday.

The valley experienced a dry but colder Christmas this year, the MeT office said. However, there is a possibility of a wet spell next week.

The minimum temperature on Saturday night went several degrees below the freezing point and was below normal across the valley except in Gulmarg, the officials said.

The intense cold conditions led to freezing of water supply lines in many areas as well as the freezing of the interiors of the Dal Lake, they said.

The minimum temperature in Srinagar settled at minus 5.8 degrees Celsius — down from minus 5.4 degrees Celsius Thursday night, the officials said.

The city experienced its coldest night so far this season, they added.

The officials said Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 7 degrees Celsius, down from minus 6.4 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature at the resort was the lowest so far this season.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district recorded a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in frontier Kupwara district settled at the season’s lowest of minus 6 degrees Celsius, while Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, also recorded the season’s lowest of minus of 5 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

Kokernag recorded a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius.

The MeT Office has forecast mostly dry weather in Jammu and Kashmir till Monday, after which it is likely to remain generally cloudy till December 30 in the UT with a possibility of light to moderate snowfall over the higher reaches.

There would be a slight improvement in the minimum temperature leading to some respite from the cold and dry weather from December 26-31, the MeT office said.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ — the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies 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. Most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

‘Chillai-Kalan’ begins on December 21 and ends on January 30. The cold wave continues even after that with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold) following it. (Agencies)

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