The minimum temperature in Kashmir registered a dip with the meteorological department forecasting rain or snowfall at scattered places in the next 24 hours, officials said on Saturday. Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 1.6 degrees Celsius they said.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 9.8 degrees Celsius. Pahalgam, which also serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 11.3 degrees Celsius -- down from minus 3.4 degrees Celsius the previous night, they said.
It was the coldest recorded place in the Valley. The officials said Qazigund recorded its minimum temperature at minus 3.3 degrees Celsius. The nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 4.9 degrees Celsius. The mercury in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius.
The MeT office has said the weather is likely to remain mainly dry over the plains of Jammu and Kashmir, but very light rain or snow at one or two places on the higher reaches cannot be ruled out on Saturday. Over the next two days, there is a possibility of isolated to scattered light rain or snow, it added.
Kashmir is currently under the influence of a 20-day-long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) which began after the Chilla-i-Kalan -- the 40-day harshest winter period -- ended on January 31. Chilla-i-Kalan, which had begun on December 21 last year, is a period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here 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 and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy to very heavy snowfall. However, there was less snowfall during the 'Chilla-i-Kalan' this year. After the end of 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold), a 10-day-long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold) follows. However, both these periods are considered less harsh.
With PTI Inputs