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Water Bodies Across Kashmir Freeze, Minimum Stays Below Freezing Point

A thin layer of ice has formed over the surface of the Dal Lake as the minimum temperature in Srinagar on Monday night was minus 4.8 degrees Celsius, officials said.

Kashmir Weather
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Cold wave conditions prevailed in Kashmir valley with the minimum temperature remaining below the freezing point, the weather office said on Tuesday.

A thin layer of ice has formed over the surface of the Dal Lake as the minimum temperature in Srinagar on Monday night was minus 4.8 degrees Celsius, officials said. The residents of the lake, who live in houseboats, had a tough time breaking the ice layer while roving their boats towards the banks.

Water supply pipes have frozen in many areas of Kashmir due to extreme cold wave conditions. Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 6.2 degrees Celsius, down from the previous night's minus 5.7 degrees Celsius, they said.

Gulmarg skiing resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius, the officials said. Qazigund recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius while Kokernag town saw the minimum settled at minus 2.7 degrees Celsius and Kupwara recorded a minimum of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius.

Kashmir has been going through a prolonged dry spell with no precipitation forecast over the next six days, the officials said, adding December month was 79 per cent deficit on rainfall. There has been no snowfall in most plain area of Kashmir while upper reaches of the valley have also received lesser than usual amount of snow by the end of December.

The open skies have resulted in the minimum temperature sliding further in most parts, including Srinagar, the officials 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, including the Dal Lake as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.

The chances of snowfall are the highest during this period and most areas, especially the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall. 'Chilla-i-Kalan' will end on January 31. However, the cold conditions will continue after that with a 20-day-long 'Chilla-i-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day-long 'Chilla-i-Bachha' (baby cold).

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