Srinagar, Dec 27 (PTI): Coldwave conditions gripped Kashmir as the mercury fell by a couple of degrees across the Valley to push the minimum temperature further below freezing point, officials said on Tuesday.
The minimum temperature on Monday night fell by one to two degrees compared to the previous night.
The intense cold led to water supply lines freezing in several areas. The interiors of Dal Lake and several other water bodies in the Valley also froze, the officials said. The minimum temperature in Srinagar settled at minus 4.8 degrees Celsius — down from minus 3.5 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, the officials said.
Pahalgam, which serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 6.7 degrees Celsius, down from minus 5.7 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in the ski-resort town of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district was minus 5.9 degrees Celsius.
In the frontier Kupwara district, the minumum temperature settled at minus 4.8 degrees Celsius while Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, recorded 3.6 degrees Celsius, the officials said. Kokernag recorded a low of minus 2.9 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.
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.