Intense cold conditions persist in Kashmir valley

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Srinagar: Intense cold conditions persisted in Kashmir Valley with Srinagar recording a low of minus 7.0°C, the weatherman said on Tuesday.

A meteorological department official told that the mercury fell by six notches in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir against minus 6.4°C on the previous night. At minus 8.4°C, Srinagar witnessed the season’s coldest night last week and it was the chilliest night in more than 25 years. In 1991, Srinagar witnessed a low of minus 11.8°C while the lowest ever temperature was recorded on 31 January 1893 when the mercury had gone down to minus 14.4 degrees Celsius. Dal Lake and other water bodies here have frozen.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperatures continued far below normal in other parts of the Valley, settling at minus 8.4°C in Pahalgam against minus 6.8°C on the previous night in the world-famous health resort.
Qazigund, the gateway town of J-K, recorded a low of minus 8.6°C against 8.3°C on the previous night and was the coldest place in the Valley.

Kokernag recorded a low of minus 7.4°C against 6.9°C on the earlier night. Against minus 6.8°C on the previous night in Kupwara, the mercury settled at minus 5.7°C in the north Kashmir district, the official said.

Gulmarg, the world-famous skiing resort, recorded a low of minus 6.2°C against minus 6.0°C on the earlier night, the official said.

Kashmir is in the middle Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day winter period which commenced on 21 December and ends on 31 January. 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). Already, Kashmir Valley received heavy snowfall earlier this month, disrupting normal life.

The weatherman has forecast “dry and cold weather over Jammu and Kashmir with morning mist” in the next 24 hours. While no significant change has been predicted in the next couple of days, a fresh Western Disturbance is most likely to affect J-K from the evening of 22 January to the forenoon of 25 January.

“Due to this, widespread moderate snowfall in Kashmir, hilly areas of Jammu and rains in Jammu plains is likely to occur, with the main activity on 23-24 January,” the weatherman has said. The approaching weather system is likely to affect surface and air traffic. (GNS)

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