Min temp increases slightly in Kashmir; rain, snowfall likely
Srinagar: There was some respite from cold wave in Kashmir as the minimum temperatures increased slightly across the valley even as the Met department predicted rain and snowfall from Thursday onwards.
The minimum temperature increased on Thursday across the Kashmir valley owing to a cloud cover, an official of the Meteorological department here said.
He said Srinagar city recorded the low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night up from minus 4.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The official said the ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded the low of minus 8.6 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night nearly four degrees up from the previous night’s minus 11.0 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg continued to be the coldest recorded place in the valley, he added.
The night temperature at Pahalgam resort, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius up from minus 6.9 degrees Celsius, he said.
The official said Qazigund the gateway town to the valley – in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius up from the previous night’s minus 6.5 degrees Celsius.
Kokernag town, also in the south, recorded a low of minus 3.7 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in the north registered a minimum of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.
The data for Ladakh Union territory was not available, he added.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
‘Chillai-Kalan’ began on December 21 and ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
The MeT department has forecast a spell of moderate to heavy snowfall in the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from Thursday.
“Light snowfall at many places in the plains of Kashmir, Drass, Zojilla and hilly areas of Jammu and light rains in the plain areas of Jammu is likely to occur from this (Thursday) evening,” the official said.
He said another spell of higher intensity and spatial distribution is most likely during January 6-8.
The official said the wet weather could likely cause landslide on the Banihal-Ramban axis of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway leading to temporary disruption of surface transportation.
The cloudy weather would also lead to colder days and slightly warmer nights, he added.