The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg and many other parts in the higher reaches of Kashmir received fresh snowfall on Thursday, even as there was a significant improvement in the minimum temperature across the valley, officials said.Two to three inches of fresh snow accumulated at Gulmarg and its adjoining areas of Tangmarg and Babareshi, they said.
The officials said othe areas which received fresh snowfall include Gurez, Razdan Pass, Sadhna Pass, Furkain Gali, Z-Gali and Shopian, and Zojilla Pass. Some areas received rains, they said.This is the first snowfall of this season’s ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’, the 40-day harshest winter period which began on Tuesday.
Owing to the cloud cover, the minimum temperature improved across the valley on Wednesday night and settled above the freezing point at most places. Srinagar recorded a low of 2.6 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, up from the previous night’s minus 1.8 degrees Celsius.
The officials said Pahalgam, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of 0.3 degrees Celsius – up from minus 5.2 degrees Celsius the previous night.The minimum in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of 2.6 degrees Celsius.
Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded 0.8 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.7 degrees Celsius.Gulmarg was the only place recorded place in the valley where the minimum stayed below the freezing point as it registered a low of minus 3.7 degrees Celsius. The MET Office said there is possibility of light rain or snow at isolated places in J-K over the next 24 hours.
“Another snow spell of greater intensity is most likely during December 26-27. Expect widespread light to moderate snow in plains of Kashmir, rain in Jammu and moderate snow at scattered places of Ladakh especially Kargil-Zanskar region,” it said.
The ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’, which began on Tuesday, is the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.
The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.The ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).