Kashmir under grip of cold wave, Srinagar night temperature at minus 4.3 deg C

Srinagar : Kashmir remained in the grip of a cold wave as the mercury stayed several degrees below freezing point last night, officials said on Monday.

Srinagar city recorded a minimum temperature of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, almost same as previous night, the officials said.

They said Qazigund recorded a low of minus 4.2 degrees while in the ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir it was minus 2.8 degrees Celsius.

Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in Kokernag town settled at minus 2 degrees Celsius and in Kupwara at minus 4.1 degrees Celsius.

A dry and largely snowless winter in Kashmir has resulted in freezing nights and warmer than usual days as Srinagar day temperatures were over eight degrees above the normal temperature for this time of the year, officials said here.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of “Chilla-i-Kalan”, a 40-day harsh winter period, when a cold wave sweeps the region and temperatures drop considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies as well as water in pipes.

The chances of snowfall are the highest during this period and most areas, particularly the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

Kashmir has been going through a prolonged dry spell and a 79 per cent deficit in rainfall was recorded for December while there has been no precipitation in most parts of the valley in the first forthnight of January.

There has been no snowfall in most plain areas of Kashmir, while the upper reaches of the valley have received lesser than usual amount of snow. The meteorological department has forecast mainly dry weather till January 21.

‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31. However, the cold conditions will continue after that with a 20-day ‘Chilla-i-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day ‘Chilla-i-Bachha’ (baby cold).