A day after enduring the coldest night in 30 years, people in Srinagar woke up to a fresh blanket of snow as freezing weather conditions continued on Monday. While the overnight cloud cover led to a considerable increase in minimum temperatures, the mercury remained below normal across the Kashmir Valley.
A meteorological department official told that Srinagar witnessed one centimeter of fresh snowfall while mercury settled at minus 3.1°C against minus previous nights minus 8.8°C, the lowest temperature of the season so far and the coldest January night in the past 30 years.
The minimum temperatures have consistently remained far below normal this season. On January 14, Srinagar recorded minus 8.4°C. On 20 January 1991, Srinagar witnessed a low of minus 11.8°C while the lowest ever temperature was recorded on 31 January 1893 when the mercury plummeted to minus 14.4 degrees Celsius. In the last 38 years, there have been 17 occasions when Srinagar recorded -8°C or less of which 1991 remained the coldest and harshest winter with the prolonged cold spell of nine days, Director Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus said.
The minimum temperature also hovered around far below the normal in other parts of the Valley, the MeT official said.
The mercury settled at minus 6.0°C in Pahalgam against minus 12.0°C on the previous night while the world-famous health resort received 2.4 cms of the fresh snow, the MeT official said.
Qazigund, the gateway town of J-K, recorded a low of minus 2.1°C against minus 10.2°C on the previous night while Kokernag recorded a minimum of minus 9.5°C against minus 12.4°C on the earlier night.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 8.2°C against minus 8.0°C earlier night while the world’s famous skiing resort received 1.3cms of fresh snow, the official said.
The mercury settled at minus 2.9°C in Kupwara against minus 2.3°C on the previous night even as northern Kashmir district received the highest snowfall of 3cms, the official added.
The fresh snowfall comes two days after ‘Chillai-Kalan’— the 40-day harshest winter period which commenced on 21 December, ended. The period is considered the harshest of the winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum.
The cold wave, however, continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
The weatherman has forecast isolated to scattered rain or snowfall during 1-3rd February due to which a gradual rise in minimum temperature is expected. (GNS)