SRINAGAR: Severe cold conditions continued unabated in Kashmir Valley with Srinagar, Qazigund and Kupwara experiencing season’s coldest night on Thursday.
Quoting a meteorological department official news agency GNS reported that Srinagar recorded a low of minus 6.4°C against last night’s minus 5.2°C. Today’s minimum temperature was 4.3°C below normal and surpassed the previous lowest temperature that was recorded on December 25 when mercury plummeted to minus 5.8°C in the summer capital.
Qazigund recorded a low of minus 6.2°C against minus 5.2°C on the previous night. The temperature was 3.3°C below normal and lowest recorded this season for the gateway town of Kashmir, he said.
Pahalgam, he said, recorded a low of minus 9.2°C against minus 9.4°C on the previous night. The coldest night recorded this season in the famous tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district was on January 2 when mercury plunged to minus 9.6°C, he said. Today’s minimum temperature was 2.6°C below normal for the place, he said.
Kokernag recorded a low of minus 4.4°C against minus 3.8°C on the previous night, he said. It was 0.9°C below normal for the place, he said.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 7.5°C against minus 8.4°C on the previous night, the official said. It was 0.5°C below normal for the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district which recorded its coldest night on January 2 when minimum temperature plummeted to minus 10.0°C, the official said.
In Kupwara town, the mercury settled at minus 6.0°C against minus 4.1°C on the previous night in the north Kashmir area, he said. The official said that the temperature was 3.5°C below normal.
Jammu recorded a low of 3.0°C against 4.5°C on the previous night. It was 4.3°C below normal for J&K’s winter capital, he said.
Banihal recorded a low of 5.2°C (above normal by 5.0°C), Batote 3.0°C (above normal by 1.0°C), Katra 4.6°C (1.7°C below normal) and Bhadarwah minus 0.4°C (0.1°C below normal).
In Ladakh, Leh and Kargil recorded a low of minus 15.2°C and minus 19.2°C respectively, the official said.
Kashmir is under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day long harsh winter period that started on December 21. It does not mean an end to the winter either. It is followed by a 20-day-long period called ‘Chillai-Khurd’ that occurs between January 30 and February 19 and a 10-day-long period ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold) which is from February 20 to March 1.
Regarding the forecast, the MeT official said mainly clear weather was expected till January 6. “Expect further fall in minimum temperature across J&K,” he said, adding, “On January 7, weather is expected to be cloudy and from January 8-10, weather is expected to be cloudy with possibility of snowfall and rain (in plains of Jammu) at many places of J&K (70% chance).” Moderate rain and snowfall has been predicted during January 11-13 also.