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Freezing cold conditions persist in Kashmir Valley, Ladakh

Srinagar: Cold wave tightened its grip on Kashmir division, including Ladakh region, as the mercury went further down the freezing point, with most places experiencing the coldest night of the season so far.

The mercury went down several degrees across Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region with some places registering the lowest night temperature of the season, an official of the Meteorological Department here said.

He said the mercury in Pahalgam hill resort, in south Kashmir, went down by over six degrees from the previous night’s minus 6.2 degrees Celsius to settle at the season’s low of minus 12.4 degrees Celsius.

The official said the minimum temperature at the resort was three-year low in the month of January.

Gulmarg – the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir – also recorded the season’s lowest night temperature as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 13 degrees Celsius – a degree down from the previous night’s minus 12 degrees Celsius, he said.

He said the resort was the coldest place in the Valley and it was the lowest night temperature there in the month of January since 2012.

In 2012, Gulmarg recorded the lowest night temperature in the month on January 13 when the mercury settled at minus 16.5 degrees Celsius.

The north Kashmir town of Kupwara recorded a low of minus 6.2 degrees Celsius – down from minus 5.5 degrees Celsius yesterday, the official said, adding Kokernag, in south Kashmir, registered a low of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius – down 2.5 degrees from yesterday’s minus 3.4 degrees Celsius.

The official said both places experienced the coldest night of the season.

Leh town, in Ladakh region, was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir as it shivered at the low of minus 16.Degrees Celsius – down over two degrees from yesterday’s minus 13. 9 degrees Celsius.

This was the season’s lowest night temperature in the town, the official said.

The nearby Kargil town also recorded the coldest night of the season so far as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 14 degrees Celsius.

Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – and Qazigund – the gateway town to Kashmir Valley – were the only two places where mercury did not dip to the season’s lowest.

While Srinagar recorded a low of minus 4.1 degrees Celsius -down from the previous night’s minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, the mercury in Qazigund town in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, compared to yesterday’s minus 2.6 degrees Celsius, the official said.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ considered the harshest period of winter, when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.

The region witnessed heavy snowfall of the season on Friday last.

Chillai-Kalan’, which, began on December 21 last year, ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that.

The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).

The Meteorological Department has forecast mainly dry weather over the state for the next three days, after which it said there is possibility of isolated or scattered snowfall or rains for a few days.

PTI