Srinagar: Widespread rain and snowfall has been forecast Jammu and Kashmir over the next 36 hours to Sunday morning as the Valley experienced light rain on Thursday morning.
“We are expecting widespread rain in the plains and snowfall in the higher reaches in Jammu and Kashmir during the next 36 hours.
“Scattered light rain started in the morning in Srinagar city and there was some respite from bitter night cold because of cloud cover during the night”, an official of the local MET office told IANS here.
The official said the minimum temperature was 2.8 degrees Celsius in Srinagar city on Thursday while it was 1.3 in Pahalgam, minus 3.0 in Gulmarg, minus 6.7 in Leh town, and minus 5.6 in Kargil town of Ladakh region.
In the Jammu region, the minimum temperatures on Thursday were 13.0 in Jammu, 11.6 in Katra, 3.2 in Bannihal, 5.5 in Batote and 4.1 in Bhaderwah.
Leh at minus 6.7 degrees Celsius was the coldest town in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
The 40-day long period of extreme cold in the Valley known as `Chillai Kalan` starts on December 21 and ends on January 31.
During this period, the minimum temperatures in the Valley fall several notches below the freezing point. Even the maximum temperatures often hover around four to seven degrees Celsius.
Almost all water bodies, including lakes and rivers in the Valley, freeze during Chillai Kalan and extremely slippery road conditions cause problems to motorists and pedestrians.
Children, however, wait eagerly for this extended period of extreme cold in the winter season because the snowfall during this period lasts longer on the ground, giving them ample opportunities for fun and frolic.