Srinagar: Lakes in the Valley have begun to freeze as Chillai Kalan- a 40-day long period of harsh winter- set in on Friday.
Chillai Kalan commences each year on December 21 and concludes on January 30. During this period, water bodies situated in the region freeze, due to which locals light small fires each day around rivers and water taps for the deposited snow to melt.
Speaking to ANI, Firdoz, a resident of Kashmir said, ” This season is very tough for the people to survive. Before starting of Chillai Kalan, people here start storing wood, coal and other products which are useful in producing warmth. Majority of the commuters prefer to be home before the sun sets.”
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the temperature in the region will further plummet during the nights. In Leh, the minimum temperature was recorded at -14.7 degree Celsius, Srinagar – 4.9, Pahalgam minus. In Gulmarg and Pahalgam, the temperature was below – 6 Degree Celsius.
Snowfall around this time provides relief from the intense cold, but the phenomenon has not occurred this time unlike last seasons when the region experienced early snowfall. Open skies with no cloud cover have made conditions worse as it reduces chances of any kind of downpour.
Meanwhile, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi have also come under the grip of cold air due to the flowing of the dry north-westerlies above them. This has caused a decline in temperature in parts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and the National Capital Region.
According to Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, the high moisture contents prevailing over these regions are providing favourable conditions for a ground frog. As a result, the presence of fog is not allowing the plants to photosynthesize leading them to turn pale or brown.
“Such damage is usually seen in plants like potato, peas, tomatoes and capsicum. Frost is considered as one of the major factors damaging crops in India during winters,” the organisation added.
On Friday, the minimum temperatures recorded in Delhi and Narnaul was 4 Degree Celsius, Ludhiana 2.3 Degree Celsius, Muzaffarnagar 1 Degree Celsius and at Lucknow was 5.5 Degree Celsius.
In the southern part of India, heavy downpour has lashed Andhra Pradesh and its nearby region due to the occurrence of Cyclone Phethai.