Cold wave tightened its grip in Kashmir as many places experienced coldest night of the season with the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recording the lowest temperature in January in the last five years. The night temperature across the Valley and Leh region, except Kokernag, dipped by several degrees as the cold wave tightened its grip after few days of respite due to snowfall last week, a Meteorological Department official said in Srinagar.
The famous tourist resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded the minimum temperature of minus 12.4 degrees Celsius, down nearly five degrees from the previous night’s minus 7.6 degrees Celsius, the official said. He said it was the lowest night temperature at the resort in the month of January since 2012.
In 2012, Gulmarg recorded the lowest night temperature in the month on January 13, when the mercury settled at minus 16.5 degrees Celsius. Thereafter, the mercury has not dropped below minus 12.0 degrees Celsius at the resort till Sunday night. Pahalgam hill resort, in south Kashmir, also experienced the season’s lowest night temperature at minus 9.2 degrees Celsius – down six degrees from minus 3.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, the MeT official said.
Kargil, in Ladakh region, was another place which recorded the coldest night of the season so far with a low of minus 12.2 degrees Celsius. The nearby Leh town registered a low of minus 11.4 degrees Celsius – down over three degrees from the Sunday’s minus 8.0 degrees Celsius, the official said. Srinagar recorded a low of minus 2.3 degrees Celsius – a drop of two degrees from the previous night’s minus 0.3 degrees Celsius. He said the night temperature in the city is three degrees below the normal for this part of the season.
The mercury also went down by nearly two degrees in Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley, and settled at a low of minus 2.0 degrees Celsius. The north Kashmir town of Kupwara recorded a low of minus 3.6 degrees Celsius, he said. Kokernag, in south Kashmir, was the only place where the night temperature improved slightly. The town recorded a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius – up from yesterday’s minus 3.7 degrees Celsius, the official said. 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.
‘Chillai-Kalan’, which, began on December 21 last year, 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).