Cold wave conditions persisted in most parts of the Kashmir valley as the mercury continued its downward spiral, even as there was marginal respite in the Ladakh region. The minimum temperature across Kashmir valley dropped last night, except in Gulmarg, an official of the Meteorological Department here said.
Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – recorded a minimum temperature of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius last night – over a degree down from minus 3.1 degrees Celsius the previous night, he said.
The night temperature in Qazigund, in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius – a degree down from the previous day. The neighbouring Kokernag town registered a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius last night, compared to the previous night’s minus 1.8 degree Celsius, the official said.
He said Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius – down by a degree from the previous day.
The night temperature in Pahalgam – the famous health resort which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra – settled at minus 6.3 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg – the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir -recorded the minimum temperature of minus 5.5 degrees Celsius – an increase of over three degrees from yesterday’s minus 8.6 degrees Celsius, the official said, adding that Gulmarg was the only place in the valley where the night temperature improved last night.
The night temperature in Kargil, in the frontier Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 19.6 degrees Celsius last night – marginally up from minus 20.0 degrees Celsius the previous night, he said.
Kargil was the coldest recorded place in the state, he added.
The nearby Leh town was the second coldest as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 13.5 degrees Celsius – slightly up from minus 13.8 degrees Celsius last night. Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, a 40-day period of harshest winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
However, about a month into the period, the weather has largely remained dry, especially in the plains. It ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that period 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).
The MET Office has forecast mainly dry weather in Kashmir till January 22, after which, it said, there was a possibility of light rains or snowfall, especially in the higher reaches of the state, for a day or two.