Mercury dips in Kargil, Valley gets bright sunshine

SRINAGAR: The mercury in Kargil in Ladakh region plunged to the season’s lowest at minus 16.4 degrees Celsius as the cold wave continued in J&K owing to dry weather, while the Valley witnessed unusual bright sunshine.

Srinagar registered a low of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius as compared to the previous night’s minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, a spokesman of the Meteorological Department said.

The maximum recorded here yesterday was 11.4 degrees Celsius, five degrees above normal. The city also witnessed unusual bright sunshine for the third consecutive day today owing to clear skies.

Kargil experienced the season’s coldest night as the mercury there went down by over a degree to settle at a low of minus 16.4 degrees Celsius against minus 15 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The spokesman said Kargil was also the coldest recorded place in the state.

The nearby Leh town also shivered at minus 16 degrees Celsius, he said, however, adding the mercury there rose slightly from the previous night’s low of minus 16.4 degrees Celsius.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir, the star attraction for tourists visiting the Valley during winter, recorded a drop of nearly two degrees in the minimum temperature which settled at minus 5.6 degrees Celsius.

The tourist resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as the base camp for annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 7.3 degrees Celsius against yesterday’s minus 7. 5 degrees Celsius.

The night temperature in Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley went down nearly a degree from minus 3.4 degrees Celsius the previous night to settle at a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius.

The mercury in Kokernag also decreased nearly a degree to settle at a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.

Kupwara town in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5 degrees Celsius, he said, adding the town had recorded the minimum of minus 5.3 degrees Celsius the previous night.

Kashmir is in the midst of the 40-day-long harshest phase of winter, which began on December 21 and will continue till the end of this month.

Known as Chilai-Kalan in local parlance, the chances of frequent snowfall are high. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold).

The Meteorological Department has predicted dry weather to continue with occasional bouts of rainfall in the upper reaches during this month.

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