Srinagar, Dec 23: There was a slight respite in cold conditions in the Kashmir Valley as the minimum temperature improved at most places, officials said on Friday. The meteorological department said the weather is likely to remain mainly dry for the next two-three days.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar city, which recorded so far its lowest of minus 5.5 degrees Celsius Wednesday night, settled at minus 4.8 degrees Celsius Thursday night, the officials said. They said Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius, compared to minus 6.8 degrees Celsius Wednesday night.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district recorded a low of minus 5.5 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in frontier Kupwara district settled at minus 5.1 degrees Celsius, while Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, the officials said. Kokernag recorded a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius.
The MeT Office has forecast mostly dry weather in Jammu and Kashmir till December 26. Afterwards, the weather is likely to remain generally cloudy between December 26-27 and December 29-30 in the UT with a possibility of light to moderate snowfall over higher reaches, it said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ — the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley. The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period. Most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.
‘Chillai-Kalan’ begins on December 21 and ends on January 30. The cold wave continues even after that with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold) following it.