Normal life crawled at -20 degrees Celsius in Kargil in the cold desert of Ladakh even as temperatures remained several degrees below the freezing point elsewhere in the Kashmir Valley. Light rain or snow at isolated places over the next 48 hours may add to the discomfiture, the weatherman said. Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, had a low of -3.9 degrees Celsius, a MET department official said. The mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of -4.4 degrees Celsius. The nearby town of Kokernag recorded a low of -2.5 degrees Celsius. Kupwara in north Kashmir quivered at -3.6 degrees Celsius. The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg reeled under freezing -6 degrees Celsius.
The night temperature in Pahalgam, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, had a minimum of -4.5 degrees Celsius. Kargil town in the Ladakh region was the coldest place in J&K at -20 degrees Celsius. Life moved at a snail’s pace in nearby Leh town at -14.2 degrees Celsius. It was the coldest night of the season so far in Leh and Kargil.
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 MeT office said there was possibility of light rain or snow at isolated places, especially in the higher reaches, today and tomorrow.