The seven-week dry spell ended in Kashmir today with higher reaches of the Valley getting fresh snowfall while rains lashed the plains even as the minimum temperatures rose across the region to breach the freezing point for first time this year. Moderate to heavy snowfall is going on in higher reaches in north Kashmir, that led to closure of roads leading to Macchil, Keran and Karnah, a police official said. He said Gulmarg skiing resort also received fresh snowfall and three inches of fresh snow had accumulated there till 10.00 AM. The plains across the valley received light rainfall since early morning, the official said. The downpour has ended seven weeks of dry weather in Kashmir, which had resulted in problems for elderly and children, while the minimum temperature also appreciated by several degrees at most places. Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 2.2 degrees Celsius, up from minus 1.6 degrees Celsius the previous night, an official of the MET department said here.
The night temperature in Qazigund town in south Kashmir was 0.2 degrees Celsius compared to minus 3.8 degrees Celsius previous night while nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 0.6 degrees Celsius last night, up by nearly two degrees, the official said. Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of 0.4 degrees Celsius against minus 3.4 degrees Celsius the previous night. The official said 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 a low of 1.2 degrees Celsius against minus 2.3 degrees Celsius previous night.
Gulmarg, the famous skiing resort in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius against minus 5.6 degrees Celsius previous night. It was the coldest recorded place in the valley last night. The mercury in Kargil town, in Ladakh region, remained unchanged at minus 15.0 degrees Celsius, the official said. He said Kargil continued to be the coldest recorded place in the state. The nearby Leh town was the second coldest as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 11.9 degrees Celsius up two degrees from previous night.
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 coldPTI MIJ RCJ 01301240