Mercury falls across Kashmir, Srinagar shivers at minus 7°C

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Srinagar: Freezing cold conditions show no signs of relenting in Kashmir as the minimum temperature plummeted across the Valley, the weatherman said on Thursday.

A meteorological department official told that the mercury fell by one degree Celsius in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir and recorded a low of minus 7.0°C against minus 6.0°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 plummeted to minus 14.4 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperatures continued to remain far below normal in other parts of the Valley, settling at minus 9.3°C in Pahalgam against minus 8.3°C on the previous night in the world-famous health resort.

Qazigund, the gateway town of J&K, recorded a low of minus 8.8°C against 8.7°C on the previous night and was the second coldest place in the Valley after Pahalgam. Kokernag recorded a low of minus 6.9°C against 7.9°C on the earlier night. Against minus 5.8°C on the previous night in Kupwara, the mercury settled at minus 5.9°C in the north Kashmir district, the official said.

Gulmarg, the world-famous skiing resort, recorded a low of minus 7.8°C against minus 6.5°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 significant improvement in night temperature” in the next 24 hours. For the subsequent two days, the MeT has forecast scattered to widespread light to moderate rain, snow, and thundershowers in J-K. (GNS)

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