SRINAGAR, DEC 22 – Mercury continued its free fall in Kashmir division with most places recording this season’s lowest minimum temperature on Thursday, the second day of ‘Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day severe period of winter.
A meteorological department official here said that Srinagar recorded a low of minus 5.5°C against 4.2°C on the previous night. Besides being the coldest lowest temperature this season, the mercury was 3.5°C below normal during this time of the year, the official said.
Qazigund recorded a low of minus 4.4°C against minus 4.2°C on the previous night. The temperature was 2.4°C below normal for the gateway town of Kashmir, he said.
Pahalgam, he said, recorded a low of minus 6.8°C against minus 6.2°C on the previous night. Apart from being below normal by 1.8°C, it was also the coldest night this season in the famous tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
Kokernag also hit the season’s coldest temperature, recording a low of minus 3.3°C against minus 2.4°C on the previous night, he said. It was 1.2°C below normal for the place, he said.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 5.2°C against minus 4.6°C on the previous night, the official said. It was 0.6°C above normal for the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the official said.
In Kupwara town, the mercury settled at minus 5.1°C against minus 4.4°C on the previous night, the official said. While being 2.5°C below normal, it was also the coldest temperature recorded so far in the north Kashmir area, he said.
Jammu recorded a low of 7.5°C against 6.3°C on the previous night. It was 0.7°C below normal for J&K’s winter capital, he said. Banihal recorded a low of minus 1.2°C against last night’s 2.0°C (overall below normal by 2.1°C), Batote 1.1°C (2.1°C below normal), Katra 5.6°C (1.3°C below normal) and Bhadarwah minus 0.9°C (0.4°C below normal).
In Ladakh, Leh and Kargil recorded a low of minus 12.0°C and 12.8 °C respectively, the official said.
While Chillai-Kalan is in its infancy, it does not mean an end to the winter. 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.
“Mainly dry weather till December 25. From 26-30th generally cloudy sky with intermittent light to moderate snow is expected at scattered places of Kashmir, higher reaches of Jammu and light rain in plains of Jammu (60℅chance),” the MeT official said, “Snowfall and below freezing temperature may lead to temporary disruption of surface transportation on places like Mughal road, Zojila, Karna, Sadna top etc during 26-27th, although there’s no forecast of any Major snow spell.”