SRINAGAR:Clear night skies in Jammu and Kashmir dipped the minimum temperatures by two degrees below normal on Monday. The thin frozen crust on the water bodies foretold a bitter winter ahead.
"The night temperatures are likely to drop further during the next two-three days as the weather across the state is expected to remain dry during this period with clear night skies," a MET department official told IANS.
The minimum temperature was minus 1.9 degrees in Srinagar, minus 3.0 in Pahalgam and minus 0.6 in Gulmarg.
The lowest night temperature throughout the Valley dropped below the freezing point as chilly winds blew from snow-clad mountains that witnessed fresh snowfall on Saturday.
In Leh, the lowest night temperature was minus 8.6 degrees.
For the first time this season, most water bodies showed a thin frozen crust at many places indicating that the winter this year could be harsher than expected in the Kashmir Valley.
Normally, water bodies show signs of freezing by the middle of December in Kashmir.
The official said the minimum temperature was 8.6 degrees in Jammu today while in Mata Vaishno Devi base camp town of Katra it was 11.7.
The night's lowest was 8.6 (same as Jammu) in Batote, 4.5 in Bannihal and again 4.5 in Bhaderwah, the official added.