Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, ushered in the New Year under freezing conditions as the city recorded the coldest night of this winter with a minimum of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius. Srinagar city recorded the coldest night this season at minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, an official of the MET department said here. The earlier lowest this winter was minus 4.2 degrees Celsius recorded on 25 December. Bright sunshine improved the day temperature but it might lead to further fall in the night temperature, he said, adding the weather is expected to remain dry over the next 24 hours. Leh in Ladakh region was the coldest recorded place in the state last night as the minimum temperature settled at minus 14.5 degrees Celsius, the official said. The cold wave continued in the rest of Kashmir with all weather stations recording temperatures several degrees below the freezing point. The official said the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius. Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius while Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius last night, he said.
The official said the mercury at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius. The night temperature in Pahalgam — the famous health resort which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra — recorded a low of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius, the official said. Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chillai-Kalan a 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and 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).