Srinagar: Freezing conditions continued in Kashmir as Srinagar recorded minus 7.6°C while Qazigund was coldest in the Valley, the weatherman said on Sunday. Also, dense fog engulfed Srinagar and other parts of the Valley for the second day in running, causing traffic disruptions.
A meteorological department official told that the minimum temperature in Srinagar remained almost six degrees below normal for the fifth consecutive day.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded minus 8.4°C on January 14, minus 8.2°C on the previous night while it settled at minus 7.8°C on January 13, same as recorded eight years ago on 14 January 2012. 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 further. Also, a thick layer of fog engulfed many areas in the Valley, including Srinagar. However, the conditions eased as the day progressed.
Meanwhile, the minimum temperatures continued far below normal in other parts of the Valley, settling at minus 8.7°C in Pahalgam against minus 9.4°C on the previous night in the world-famous health resort.
Qazigund, the gateway town of J&K, recorded a low of minus 9.0°C against 10.0°C on the previous night and was the coldest place in the Valley. Kokernag recorded a low of minus 8.7°C, the same as on the earlier night.
Against minus 6.8°C on the previous night in Kupwara, the mercury settled at minus 6.2°C in the north Kashmir district, the official said.
Gulmarg, the world-famous skiing resort, recorded a low of minus 4.2°C against minus 5.4°C on the earlier night, the official said. Leh recorded a low of minus 12.1°C and Kargil recorded minus 17.4°C.
Kashmir is in the middle Chillai-Kalan, the forty-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 twenty-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a ten-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold). Already, Kashmir Valley received heavy snowfall earlier this month, disrupting normal life.
The Weatherman has forecast “mainly dry weather with morning fog /mist at isolated places of Kashmir Valley and plains of Jammu division.” in the next 24 hours and “no significant change in next two days. (GNS)