The minimum temperature in most parts of Kashmir dropped but settled several degrees above normal for this time of the season, except in Gulmarg, officials said on Monday. Fresh snowfall was recorded in several areas of the valley especially in south Kashmir, the officials said. They said the famous tourist resort of Pahalgam received about five inches of snowfall, while Kokernag about two inches.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded five inches of snowfall, they said.There are reports of snowfall in some other areas in the upper reaches of the valley, including in Sonamarg, as well, they said.The officials said the administration has pressed men and machinery into the job to clear the snow.
The minimum temperature at most places in the valley went down on Sunday night.The minimum also was several degrees above normal for this time of the season at most places, the officials said.Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of 2.8 degrees Celsius – up from 0.4 degrees Celsius the previous night, they said.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius – down from minus 6 degrees Celsius the previous night.Pahalgam, which also serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 0.8 degrees Celsius – up from the previous night’s minus 1.2 degrees Celsius, they said.
The officials said Qazigund recorded a minimum of 0.2 degree Celsius, while the nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.5 degrees Celsius.The minimum in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius.The MET Office has forecast light rain or snow at isolated places over two days.
Kashmir valley is currently under the grip of the 40-day harshest winter period known as ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ which began on December 21 last year.’Chilla-i-Kalan’ is a 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 to very 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).