Severe cold wave continued in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday as Kargil in Ladakh region froze at minus 14.5 degrees, recording the lowest minimum temperature this season. “Present cold wave conditions are likely to continue till December 22,” a Met Department official said. Leh recorded minus 11 as the night’s lowest temperature. The mercury dipped further as the people in the valley geared for the traditional 40-day period of harsh winter known as ‘Chillai Kalan’ which starts on December 21 and ends on January 30. During this period, snowfall in the hills replenishes the perennial water reservoirs of Kashmir which sustain the various rivers, streams, springs, lakes and other water bodies during the summer months here. The minimum temperature was minus 1.8 in Srinagar, minus 5.3 in Pahalgam and minus 6 in Gulmarg.
In the Jammu region, Jammu city recorded 7.7, Mata Vaishno Devi base camp town of Katra 9.5, Batote 5.1, Bannihal minus 0.2, Bhaderwah 0.9 and Udhampur 4.9 degrees Celsius.