No respite from intense cold in Kashmir Valley

Srinagar: Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region remained in the grip of cold wave as the mercury stayed below the freezing point owing to continuous dry weather.

While there was slight increase in the mercury at some places including Srinagar and Gulmarg, the minimum temperature continued to remain below the freezing point across the division. Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius, slightly up from the previous night’s minus 4 degrees Celsius, an official of the Meteorological Department here said.

He said there was an increase of a degree in the night temperature in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg which recorded a low of minus 5 degrees Celsius against minus 6 degrees Celsius the previous night. Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 5.7 degrees Celsius compared to the previous night’s minus 5.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.

He said the night temperature went down slightly in Qazigund, Kokernag and Kupwara towns as the mercury settled at minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, minus 1.7 degrees Celsius and minus 3.8 degrees Celsius respectively, the official said.

The mercury in Leh town, in the frontier Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 14.4 degrees Celsius compared to minus 14.5 degrees Celsius the previous night, he said. Leh was the coldest recorded place in the state. The night temperature decreased in the nearby Kargil town as the mercury there settled at minus 14 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s minus 13.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.

The Meteorological Department has predicted mainly dry weather for the most part of Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day harshest winter period ending January 31. However, it said there is possibility of isolated rains on January 20. Chillai-Kalan , which began with winter solstice on December 21 and ends January 31, is the harshest period of winter in Kashmir when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum.

The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold). However, the harshest winter period has thus far remained largely dry except for brief spells of light snow in plains on two occasions and moderate snowfall in the higher reaches on a few occasions. The dry weather has resulted in increase in common ailments like cough and cold among the people here.