Sunny Monday in Kashmir amid cold conditions

Srinagar: The valley witnessed a sunny morning Monday despite cold conditions being intensified in Kashmir and Ladakh region with a sharp drop in the minimum temperature at night, officials said.

Kargil was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir at a low of minus 18.6 degrees Celsius, followed by Leh at a low of minus 16.2 degrees Celsius, the weather office said.

The minimum temperature in Srinagar plummeted six degrees on Sunday night and settled at minus 6.4 degrees Celsius, an official said. Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius while, the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday night. The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, the official said.

Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 12.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam witnessed the coldest night of the season at a low of minus 14.6 degrees Celsius, the official said, adding it was also the coldest January night in Pahalgam in the last five years.

The MeT office has said the weather will remain dry for the next few days but there will be another spell of precipitation in the valley starting Friday. 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 minimum temperatures drop considerably.

‘Chillai-Kalan’ 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).