Kashmir reeled under intense cold conditions on Tuesday (December 24) with Srinagar experiencing the coldest night of the season so far, the weather office said.
The minimum temperature across Kashmir and Ladakh remained several degrees below the freezing point on Tuesday owing to clear sky, an official of the Meteorological Department said. He said Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season so far as the minimum temperature in the city settled at minus 4 degrees Celsius last night over four degrees down from 0.2 degree Celsius the previous night, leading to freezing of water supply lines at several places.
The city had recorded the same minimum temperature on December 8. The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded the low of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius last night down from the previous nights minus 8.5 degrees Celsius, he said.
The night temperature at Pahalgam resort, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 10.4 degrees Celsius as against minus 10.8 degrees Celsius on Monday, he said.
Pahalgam, in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, was the coldest recorded place in the valley, he added. The official said Qazigund the gateway town to the valley — in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 7.8 degrees Celsius, a decrease of nearly 10 degrees from Monday.
Kokernag town, also in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 6 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in north registered the minimum of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius, the official said. He said Leh town, in the Ladakh Union territory, recorded a low of minus 16.7 degrees Celsius seven degrees down from minus 9.9 degrees Celsius on the previous night.
The minimum temperature in Drass settled at minus 26.7 degrees Celsius compared to minus 21.6 degrees Celsius the other night, the official said. The MeT office has forecast mainly dry weather for the week ahead.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chillai-Kalan — the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
Chillai-Kalan began on December 21 and ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long Chillai-Khurd (small cold) and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold).