Srinagar: The Kashmir Valley on Tuesday recorded season’s coldest night after temperature dropped further as the period of Chillai Kalan began. Chillai Kalan is a local term used for the 40-day long harshest period of winter.
In Srinagar, the minimum temperature was recorded at minus 4.2 degree Celsius which was the lowest this season and 1.1 degrees Celsius below the previous night, a MeT department official said.
Kashmir snowfall update
The higher reaches of Kashmir have received snowfall since November but the plains are still without snow. Even at Gulmarg, Kashmir’s most popular ski resort, the snow cover is insufficient for the sport.
Tourists and locals have been eagerly waiting for snowfall to celebrate Christmas and New Year in the valley. During the peak of winter in the Valley, large parts of Dal Lake, water falls and other water bodies freeze.
Temperature in Pahalgam, Leh, Gulmarg
The minimum temperature was minus 6.2 degrees Celsius in hill resort Pahalgam, which serves as base camp during the annual Amarnath Yatra, while north Kashmir’s famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, against the previous night’s minus 4 degrees Celsius.
Kargil in Ladakh region continues to be the coldest place with minimum temperature plummeting to minus 12.1 degrees Celsius while the temperature in neighbouring Leh town dropped to minus 11.8 degrees Celsius.
Qazigund recorded a temperature of minus 4.2°C against minus 3.6°C on the previous night. The temperature was 2.6°C below normal for the gateway town of Kashmir. The temperature in Kokernag was at minus 2.4°C against minus 1.8°C on the previous night and it was 0.7°C below normal for the place.
What is Chillai Kalan?
During ‘Chillai Kalan’, which runs from December 21 to January 30, the minimum temperature dips below freezing point. The gap between the day and night temperatures also narrows and, sometimes, the maximum temperature also remains below freezing point.
Kashmir’s winter pans out in three stages, starting with the 40-day intense period from December 21 (Chillai Kalan) followed by 20 more days that are less intense (Chillai Khurd) and lastly 10 days of mild cold (Chille Bache).