Kashmir in grip of intense cold, some respite for Ladakh

SRINAGAR: Kashmir continued to be swept by a cold wave as the mercury stayed below the freezing point but Ladakh region experienced a respite from the intense chill after the minimum temperature rose by several degrees.

The night temperature across the Kashmir valley, except Gulmarg, decreased marginally last night, while there was an improvement by several degrees in Ladakh region, an official of the Meteorological Department said here.

He said Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded the minimum temperature of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius last night, down from minus 3 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The night temperature in south Kashmir's Qazigund, settled at a low of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius, down from previous night's minus 2.8 degrees Celsius.

The neighbouring Kokernag town saw mercury drop to minus 2 degrees Celsius from minus 1.6 degrees Celsius, the official said.

He said north Kashmir's Kupwara recorded a low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius, down nearly two degrees from minus 2.8 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The official said the night temperature in Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, dropped from low of minus 3.3 degrees Celsius the previous night to settle at minus 3.5 degrees Celsius last night.

Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort, recorded the minimum temperature of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, an increase of over three degrees from minus 8.5 degrees Celsius yesterday.

The resort was the only place in the valley where the night temperature increased last night.

Kargil town in Ladakh region continued to be the coldest recorded place in the state as the minimum temperature settled at minus 14.8 degrees Celsius, though an increase of nearly six degrees from the previous night's minus 20.6 degrees Celsius, the official said.

He said the nearby Leh town was the second coldest place as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 7.7 degrees Celsius, up nearly seven degrees.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan', the 40-day period of harshest winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum and the temperature drops considerably.

It ends on January 31 but the cold wave continues even after that in the valley.

The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai- Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).

The MET Office has said the weather is likely to remain dry till January 17 and there is possibility of some precipitation on January 18.


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