Residents here in many places got a slight respite from the bone-chilling cold when on Saturday the minimum temperature settled above the freezing point, officials said on Saturday.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar settled at 0.4 degrees Celsius – up from minus 0.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said. Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, was another place where the mercury settled above the freezing point last night. The town registered a low of 0.5 degrees Celsius – up 2.5 degrees. Pahalgam, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 9 degrees Celsius and was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir.
The minimum in Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort, in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, was minus 8 degrees Celsius – down from minus 5.5 degrees Celsius. In the frontier district of Kupwara, the minimum temperature settled at minus 1.1 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.6 degrees Celsius, the officials said. Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chilla-i-Kalan, the 40-day harshest weather period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent.
'Chilla-i-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. Most areas of the valley received snowfall on Thursday. The MeT Office has said the weather will remain mostly dry over the next few days. Expect further fall in the minimum temperature across J-K, leading to warmer days, but colder nights, the MeT Office added.