Kashmir gets some respite from severe cold conditions
Srinagar: The minimum temperature across Kashmir improved as 'Chilla-i-Kalan' -- the harshest winter period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent - ended, officials said on Monday.
However, the minimum temperature settled below the freezing point across the valley on Sunday night, the officials said.
Chilla-i-Kalan -- the 40-day harshest winter period which began on December 21 last year -- is a period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.
The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy to very heavy snowfall.
However, the 'Chilla-i-Kalan' this year was not harsh like the last year and there was less snowfall during the period.
Even after the end of 'Chilla-i-Kalan', the cold wave continues in Kashmir with a 20-day-long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day-long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold). However, both these periods are considered less harsh.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 1.6 degrees Celsius up from minus 2.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, they said.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 6.6 degrees Celsius up from minus 7.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir, which also serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 4.8 degrees Celsius up from minus 7 degrees Celsius the previous night, they said.
The officials said Qazigund recorded a minimum of minus 2.8 degree Celsius, while the nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius.
The minimum in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 0.6 degrees Celsius.
The MeT Office has said there is a possibility of rain or snow at scattered places over the next 24 hours.
After that, there are chances of a wet spell from February 2 to 4 as well, it said.