Leh and Kargil towns in Ladakh region recorded the season’s coldest night as the cold wave intensified in Jammu and Kashmir after a slight respite for few days.
The minimum temperature in Leh settled at minus 17.1 degrees Celsius, down by over two degrees from the previous night’s low of minus 14.8 degrees Celsius, a MeT department official said.
She said this was the coldest night of the season so far in the frontier town which was also the coldest recorded place in the state.
Kargil, also in Ladakh region, too recorded the season’s low of minus 16.1 degrees Celsius compared to the previous night’s minus 15.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, down from the previous night’s minus 4.8 degrees Celsius, she said.
Srinagar had witnessed the season’s coldest night on December 27 when the night temperature dropped to minus 5.6 degrees Celsius.
Parts of many water bodies, including the famous Dal Lake, were frozen due to biting cold, which also led to freezing of water taps and developing of a thin layer of frost on roads.
The mercury in Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley in south, settled at a low of minus 5.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir, which serves as a base-camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, registered a minimum temperature of minus 7.6 degrees Celsius, against the previous night’s minus 7.2 degrees Celsius, she said.
She said the minimum temperature in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg settled at minus 4.8 degrees Celsius, down by over a degree from the previous night’s minus 3.4 degrees Celsius.
The night temperatures in Kupwara in north Kashmir and Kokernag in south also decreased slightly to settle at minimum of minus 5.8 degrees and minus 4.7 degrees Celsius respectively, she said.
The MeT department has forecast that a fresh western disturbance was likely to affect the state from January 3 on-wards and there was possibility of isolated to scattered light rain or snowfall.
Kashmir Valley is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – the 40-day harshest winter period, which begins on December 21.
The chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent during this period and the weather remains cold during as the day temperature also dips drastically, freezing most of the water bodies including the Dal Lake.
Though ‘Chillai-Kalan’ would end on January 31, the winter continues after that. The 40-day period would be followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold).