There was a slight respite in the cold wave conditions in Kashmir as the mercury rose by a few degrees across the Valley, officials said. There is a possibility of intermittent light to moderate snowfall at scattered places over two days from Thursday, they said.
Some improvement in the night temperature across the Valley was witnessed as the mercury rose by around three degrees, providing slight relief from the intense cold which had led to the freezing of water supply lines in several areas, as well as the interiors of Dal Lake and other water bodies in Kashmir, officials said. The minimum temperature in Srinagar settled at minus 3.2 degrees Celsius -- up from minus 5.6 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, the officials said.
Pahalgam, which serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius -- up from minus 7.4 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in the skiing destination of Gulmarg in north Kashmir's Baramulla district was minus 4.8 degrees Celsius -- up from minus 6 degrees Celsius. In the frontier Kupwara district, the minimum temperature settled at minus 3.3 degrees Celsius, while Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, recorded 3.2 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
Kokernag recorded a low of minus 2.3 degrees Celsius. Although there was brief snowfall in Pahalgam and adjoining areas in south Kashmir, the Valley is going through a dry spell with no major precipitation forecast till the end of December. However, according to the Meteorological (MeT) Department has said there is a possibility (with over 75 per cent chance) of intermittent light to moderate snowfall at scattered to fairly widespread places in the valley from Thursday (evening) to Friday.
There is no forecast of any major snowfall till January 5, it added. Kashmir is currently in 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 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.