Chillai-Kalan Ends; Another Snow Spell Likely From Feb 4

SRINAGAR: The 40-day period of harshest winter – Chillai-Kalan – ended on Monday as Kashmir Valley witnessed the wet winter in the last five years with the above normal snowfall in the month of January.

“This was one of the wettest winters. The snowfall was above normal. The normal snowfall that we record is 56 mm but this winter it was 143 mm. From last ten years, snowfall above normal has been recorded five times and this time massive snowfall was recorded across Kashmir particularly in North,” Director MeT office, Sonam Lotus, told CNS.

He said that the frequency of strong Western Disturbances ones was frequent this winter. “The winter is not over yet, only ‘Chillai-Kalan’ has ended and we may witness more rain or snowfall in coming days,” Lotus added.

He said that Srinagar witnessed the lowest temperature of minus 6.8 this winter while last time it was in the year 2012 when the city witness temperature of minus 7.8.

“From past ten years, this January we witnessed a record breaking snowfall,” he said adding that the temperatures went down up to minus 19 in Leh district of Ladakh region this January.

Lotus said that this ‘Chillai-Kalan’, the night of January 14 was the coldest one when Gulmarg recorded lowest temperature of minus 14.4, Pahalgam minus 13.8, Qazigund minus 8.8 and Srinagar minus 6.8. “We have had maximum snowfall at Banihal 475 mm, followed by Gulmarg 364 mm, Qazigund 290 mm, Pahalgam 280 mm, Kupwara 208 mm and Srinagar 143 mm.”

He said that MeT is expecting moderate to heavy snowfall from the evening of February 4 till February 6 morning.

This ‘Chillai-Kalan’ witnessed 26 deaths including 21 Indian army soldiers that lost their lives when snow avalanches hit them.

‘Chillai-Kalan’ began on December 21 and will now be followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ followed by a 10-day long ‘Chill-i-Bachha’.

Fresh Avalanche Warning Issued

Divisional Administration Kashmir Monday issued a fresh medium danger avalanche warning for next 24-hours for hilly and avalanche prone areas of Kashmir Valley and Kargil district with isolated to scattered rains and snowfall forecast in Kashmir Division from January 30.

“Medium danger avalanche warning valid for next 24-hours from January 30 to January 31, 2017 (1700 hrs) exists for avalanche prone slopes in Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Budgam, Islamabad and Kargil districts,” a statement of the Divisional Administration said.

“There is forecast of scattered rain/snow on January 30, isolated rains and snowfall from January 31to February 02, and scattered rain/snow onFebruary03,” the statement added.

Accordingly, Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir Division including Leh and Kargil have been asked to take precautionary measures in their respective districts and advise people not to venture in avalanche prone areas and to keep clearing snow depositions from roof tops of their houses and bunkers to avoid damages.

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