Kashmir continued to witness dry weather and sub-zero night temperature, even as there was some respite in the cold wave conditions in state’s Ladakh region where the mercury went up by several degrees. The region is witnessing the longest dry spell in almost last four decades as there has been negligible amount of rainfall during the past five months.
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The night temperature in Leh increased by four-and-a-half degree from the previous night’s minus 11.5 degrees Celsius to settle at a low of minus 7 degrees Celsius, an official of the Meteorological Department here said. He, however, said the town continued to be the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir.
The night temperature also increased slightly at two places in the Valley – Qazigund and Kokernag – both in south Kashmir. The official said the minimum temperature in Qazigund – the gateway town to Kashmir Valley – was minus 2.8 degrees Celsius – up from minus 3.2 degrees Celsius yesterday, while Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.2 degree Celsius.
He said Srinagar – the summer capital of the state -recorded a low of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius – down from the previous night’s minus 3.8 degrees Celsius. Pahalgam hill resort, in south Kashmir, also registered a low of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius – a degree down from minus 3.3 degrees Celsius of the previous night, he said.
The official said the night temperature at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius – down nearly by two degrees from minus 1.6 degrees Celsius of yesterday. The north Kashmir town of Kupwara recorded a low of minus 4.8 degrees Celsius, compared to the yesterday’s minus 3.3 degrees Celsius, he said.
The official said the town was the coldest place in the Valley. Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ considered the harshest period of winter, when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
However, so far, the weather has remained dry, resulting in increase in ailments like cough and common cold. ‘Chillai-Kalan’, which, began on December 21, 2016 ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that.
The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold). As there has been negligible amount of rainfall during the past five months, the region is witnessing the longest dry spell in the last about four decades.
However, the Meteorological Department has said the prevalent dry spell is expected to end next week as there is possibility of rain or snow fall from January 4 to 6. There are chances of fairly widespread spell of rain or snow from January 4 to 6, the official said, adding the higher reaches may receive moderate rains and snow, while there is possibility of light rainfall or snow in the plains as well.