No respite from cold for now

Srinagar: Minimum temperatures throughout the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region remained several notches below freezing point on Friday as cold conditions prevailed unabated in the area. 

Srinagar recorded a low of minus 2.4 degrees celsius, over three degrees down from the previous night's minimum of 1.0 degrees celsius, a met department official said. 

The Met office said the dry weather is likely to continue for the next 24 hours till Saturday morning, which would push the night temperatures further down because of the clear night skies.

"The minimum temperature was minus 2.4 degrees Celsius in Srinagar, minus 8.8 degrees Celsius in Pahalgam, and minus 7.2 degrees Celsius in Gulmarg on Friday, a Met official said. 

"In Leh town (of Ladakh region), the minimum temperature was minus 11.1 degrees Celsius while in Kargil town (of the same region), it was minus 16.2 degrees Celsius today (Friday). The minimum temperature was 7.3 degrees Celsius in Jammu city," the official added.

The biting cold has caused partial freezing of major lakes and other water bodies in the Valley while most lakes and rivers in the Ladakh region are already frozen. 

Thousands of migratory birds present in the Valley to avoid the extreme cold of their summer homes in Siberia, the Philippines, Japan and China are finding it difficult to feed in the frozen bird reserves.

The night temperature in south Kashmir's Kokernag also went down by three degrees from minus 0.4 degrees celsius the previous night to settle at a low of minus 2.6 degrees celsius. 

Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 8.8 degrees celsius as compared to minus 10.4 degrees celsius the previous night. 

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 7.2 degrees celsius last night as compared to minus 7.8 degrees celsius previous night. 

The mercury in Leh, in the frontier region of Ladakh, increased slightly to settle at a low of minus 11.1 degrees celsius as compared to the previous night's minus 13.6 degrees celsius. 

The nearby Kargil town recorded a low of minus 16.2 degrees celsius as against the previous night's minus 12.8 degrees celsius and was the coldest place in the state. 

The weather man has predicted light rain or snowfall at isolated places in the state over the next 24 hours.

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