Intense cold grips Kashmir valley
MeT predicts another wet spell
Srinagar: The mercury plunged by several degrees across Kashmir as the valley was gripped by intense cold wave conditions on Thursday, officials said here.
The extreme subzero temperatures have resulted in freezing of water bodies and drinking water supply lines in many areas of the valley.
Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, plunging more than three degrees from minus 2 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.
Qazigund the gateway town to the valley recorded a minimum of 10.5 degrees Celsius down from minus 4.4 degrees Celsius the previous night, they said.
The minimum temperature at the Gulmarg skiing resort, in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, settled at minus 13.4 degrees Celsius last night down from last night’s minus 12 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam tourist resort, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 12.3 degrees Celsius down over five degrees from previous night’s minus 7.7 degrees Celsius.
Kupwara recorded a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag, in the south, recorded minus 10.7 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperatures are expected to remain below freezing point for the next few days as the weatherman has forecast the possibility of a western disturbance hitting the valley on February 2.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ — 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.
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 continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department has predicted a wet spell on February 2 and 3 in the Valley and a spell of light snowfall in higher reaches on January 31 and February 1.
Deputy Director MeT, Mukhtar Ahmad said the weather will remain dry till January 31, after which there is “possibility of a light snowfall in higher reaches of the Valley till February 1.”
However, the MeT official said there was a possibility of a wet spell between February 2 and 3, during which both plains and Valley higher reaches are “likely to receive a light spell of snowfall”.
“This is a minor Western Disturbance and we don’t expect its impact in the plains. There are chances of only light snowfall in the higher reaches between January 31 and February 1,” Ahmad said.
“We expect inclement weather between February 2 and 3, a light snowfall or rains in both plains and higher reaches of the Valley” Ahmad said.
He said “there will be an improvement in both minimum and maximum temperatures in days to come”. “We expect a gradual increase in night temperatures and even day temperatures as we come close to the end of Chilai Kalan.” (with PTI inputs)