Cold wave intensifies in Kashmir as Mercury dips across Valley

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.

By Author  |  Published: 26th Dec 2016  11:53 amUpdated: 26th Dec 2016  11:58 am
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A Kashmiri fisherman breaks the surface ice as he tries to row his boat through a weed covered lake on a cold day in Srinagar. Photo: AP

Srinagar: The night temperature across Kashmir division dipped by several degrees as the cold wave tightened its grip in the region where the prevailing dry weather is expected to lead to further drop in the mercury.

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.

However, so far, the weather has remained dry, resulting in increase in ailments like cough and common cold.

The Meteorological Department here has forecast mainly dry weather for the rest of the days of the year which could lead to a further drop in the night temperature.
‘Chillai-Kalan’, which, began on December 21, ends on January 31 next year, 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).

Meanwhile, the night temperature across Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region dropped further below the freezing point last night.

Srinagar recorded a low of minus 5.1 degrees Celsius, a decrease of nearly three degrees from the previous night’s minus 2.2 degrees Celsius, a MeT department official said.
He said the night temperature in Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir, went down nearly five degrees from yesterday’s 0.3 degree Celsius to settle below the freezing point at a low of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius.

The official said Kokernag, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in north, registered the minimum of minus 5.5 degrees Celsius.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, registered a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius – same as that of the previous night.

Pahalgam hill resort, in south Kashmir, witnessed a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius, which is a decrease of over three degrees from minus 2.9 degrees Celsius 24 hours earlier, the official said.

He said Pahalgam was the coldest place in the Valley.

Leh, in Ladakh region, was the coldest recorded place in the state as the night temperature there went down by over four degrees from the previous night’s minus 9.4 degrees Celsius to settle at a low of minus 13.9 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said the nearby Kargil town recorded a low of minus 11.8 degrees Celsius – a decrease of nearly two degrees from minus 9.9 degrees Celsius.