Kashmir continues to grapple with cold wave, subzero temperatures
Srinagar: There was no respite from the intense cold wave in Kashmir as the Valley recorded extreme subzero temperatures on Monday night, officials said.
Srinagar city recorded a minimum temperature of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius on Monday, marginally up from the previous night’s minus 5.3 degrees, the officials said on Tuesday.
Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 6.2 degrees Celsius.
Qazigund town in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.8 degrees Celsius and the ski resort town of Gulmarg in north Kashmir reported a low of minus 4.5 degrees, the officials said.
The minimum temperature in Kokernag town settled at minus 1.5 degrees Celsius and in Kupwara at minus 4.9 degrees, they added.
A dry and largely snowless winter in Kashmir has resulted in freezing nights and warmer-than-usual days as maximum temperatures in Srinagar have been more than eight degrees above normal for this time of the year, the officials said.
Kashmir has been going through a prolonged dry spell with a 79 per cent rainfall deficit being recorded in December. There has been no precipitation in most parts of the Valley in the first three weeks of January.
There has also been no snowfall in most plain areas of Kashmir while the upper reaches of the Valley have received lesser-than-usual snow.
The weather office, however, has forecast the possibility of light snowfall at places in the Valley from Thursday to January 31.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’, a 40-day harsh winter period when a cold wave sweeps the region and temperatures drop considerably, leading to the freezing of water bodies and water in pipelines.
The chances of snowfall are highest during this period and most areas, particularly in the higher reaches, receive heavy snow.
‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31. However, the cold conditions will continue after that with a 20-day ‘Chilla-i-Khurd (small cold)’ and a 10-day ‘Chilla-i-Bachha (baby cold)’.