Mercury settles at freezing point in Valley

Srinagar: Overcast conditions have led to an increase in the night temperature in Kashmir as the mercury across the Valley, except in high altitude areas, remained above the freezing point, even as some places in the higher reaches received fresh snowfall, a MeT official said today.

There was a huge respite from the cold conditions in Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region as the night temperatures have increased owing to the overcast sky, especially after the 40-day Chillai-Kalan, considered the harshest period of winter, ended on January 31, an official of the Meteorological department here said.

 The mercury, which has been hovering around the freezing point for the past few days in the plains of the Valley, settled above the zero degrees Celsius last night, he said.

However the high altitude areas in Kashmir and Ladakh region continued to experience sub-zero night temperature.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, registered the minimum temperature of 0.4 degree Celsius, while Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley – recorded a low of 1.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.

He said the mercury in Kokernag town in south Kashmir settled at a low of 0.3 degree Celsius, same as that of the previous night.

The famous tourist resort of Gulmarg and Pahalgam and the north Kashmir town of Kupwara were the places which witnessed sub-zero night temperature.

Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 7.0 degrees Celsius, up by nearly three degrees from the previous night’s minus 9.6 degrees Celsius, the official said.

He said Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir registered the minimum of minus 0.2 degree Celsius, a degree up from minus 1.2 degrees Celsius yesterday.

The official said Pahalgam recorded fresh snowfall of one cm during the last 24 hours, while there were also reports of snow in some other places in the higher reaches of Kashmir.

He said the mercury in Kupwara town settled at a low of minus 1.4 degrees Celsius, against minus 2.5 degrees Celsius on the previous night.

The official said Leh town in Ladakh region registered a low of minus 9.7 degrees Celsius, an increase of nearly six degrees from minus 15.3 degrees Celsius yesterday.

Leh was the coldest recorded place in the state, he said, adding that data for the nearby Kargil town was not available.

He said that there is a possibility of scattered to fairly widespread rains or snowfall in the state over the next 24 hours, but the weather is likely to stay dry over a few days from February 10.

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