Cold conditions continue in Kashmir
Another wet spell from Friday evening: MeT
Srinagar: The intense cold wave conditions continued unabated in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday as the minimum temperature stayed several degrees below the freezing point. Meanwhile, the local MeT office has predicted another wet spell from Friday evening.
Srinagar city – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – recorded a low of minus 7 degrees, up from minus 6 degrees Celsius the previous night, a MeT official said.
The minimum temperature in the city last night was nearly five degrees below the normal for this time of the year, he said.
The Gulmarg skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district recorded minus 7.8 degrees Celsius last night, down from minus 6.5 degrees Celsius the night earlier.
Pahalgam tourist resort, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 9.3 degrees Celsius down from the previous night’s minus 8.3 degrees Celsius, the meteorological department said.
Qazigund the gateway town to the Valley recorded a minimum of 8.8 degrees Celsius, it said.
Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag recorded minus 6.9 degrees Celsius.
Several water bodies in the Kashmir Valley have frozen due to the bone-chilling cold.
A thick layer of ice has frozen over several roads in the city and elsewhere in the Valley, making it difficult for motorists to drive in the early hours. However, the situation may improve as the Valley is experiencing unusual winter sunshine.
The MeT department has forecast that a Western Disturbance will affect the Union territory for a few days from January 22.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ — the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and temperature drops considerably, leading to freezing of water bodies, including the famous Dal Lake here as well as 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.
While ‘Chillai-Kalan’ which began on December 21 — will end on January 31, the cold wave will continue even after that in Kashmir, with a 20 day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and 10 day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
Meanwhile, Deputy Director Meteorological department (MeT), Mukhtar Ahmad said that the light to moderate snowfall would occur in plains of Kashmir from Friday evening.
He said that there is a possibility of moderate to heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of Shopian, Doda and other adjacent districts.
“As per the forecast, the plains in Kashmir would receive light to moderate snowfall from Friday evening while the rains with thunderstorm would occur in Jammu region from tomorrow evening as well,” he said.
Ahmad further informed that from Jan 23 (Saturday) evening, the weather would start gradually improving, adding that the weather conditions would improve on Jan 24 (Sunday) afternoon.
Asked about the dip in minimum temperature, the Deputy Director MeT said that the night temperature would start increasing from tomorrow as well, adding that it will go up to four degrees.
He, however, added that the maximum temperature would go down and would settle close to 4 degree Celsius.
Pertinently, the MeT had informed that another Western Disturbance (WD) would affect J&K and Kargil district from Jan 22 evening to Jan 25 afternoon.
“Another WD most likely to affect J&K and Kargil district during 22nd (Eve.) to 25th (F/N). This will give Fairly widespread to Widespread light to moderate snowfall /rain in plains of Jmu with main activity on 24th. This system is weaker than the previous one,” Meteorological Centre Srinagar had tweeted. (with PTI inputs)