Cold wave continues in Kashmir; mercury rises slightly in Srinagar

SRINAGAR: Intense cold conditions persisted in Kashmir valley even as minimum temperature rose slightly in Srinagar and Pahalgam and fell marginally elsewhere, the weatherman said on Wednesday.

A meteorological department official said that the mercury increased by four notches in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir and recorded a low of minus 6.0°C against minus 7.0°C on the previous night.

At minus 8.4°C, Srinagar witnessed season's coldest night last week and it was chilliest night in more than 25 years. In 1991, Srinagar witnessed a low of minus 11.8°C while the lowest ever temperature was recorded on 31 January 1893 when the mercury had plummeted to minus 14.4 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperatures continued far below normal in other parts of the valley, settling at minus 8.3°C in south Kashmir's Pahalgam against minus 8.4°C the previous night in the world-famous health resort.

Qazigund, the gateway town of J&K, recorded a low of minus 8.7°C against 8.6°C on the previous night and remained the coldest place in the valley. Kokernag recorded a low of minus 7.9°C against 7.4°C the earlier night.

Against minus 5.7°C the previous night in Kupwara, the mercury settled at minus 5.8°C in the north Kashmir district, the official said.

Gulmarg, the world-famous skiing resort in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, recorded a low of minus 6.5°C against minus 6.2°C the earlier night, added the official.

Kashmir is in the middle Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day winter period which commenced on December 21 and ends on January 31. The period is considered the harshest of the winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum.

The cold wave, however, continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold). Kashmir valley received heavy snowfall earlier this month, disrupting normal life.

The weatherman has forecast "dry and cold weather over Jammu and Kashmir with morning mist" in the next 24 hours. However, a fresh Western Disturbance is most likely to affect J&K from evening of January 22 to forenoon of January 25 as per the local MET department.

"Due to this, widespread moderate snowfall in Kashmir, hilly areas of Jammu and rains in Jammu plains is likely to occur, with the main activity on January 23-24," the weatherman has said.

The approaching weather system is likely to affect surface and air traffic.



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