Freezing Winter Takes Hold

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SRINAGAR — The freezing winter conditions show no signs o abating as Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, experienced the coldest day this winter on Wednesday with the mercury dipping to 3.7 degree Celsius.

A meteorological department official said that today’s maximum temperature was five degrees below the normal for this time of the year and was lowest for the season so far. He said night temperature plunged to minus 6.7 degree Celsius in capital last night and was just a notch below from Monday’s minus 6.8 degrees Celsius, the coldest December night in 11-years.

The all-time low recorded in the month of December in Srinagar was minus 12.8 degrees Celsius on December 13, 1934.

The cold wave resulted in freezing of some water bodies, including the fringes of the famous Dal Lake here, and residential water supply pipes.

The official said Qazigund the gateway town to the Valley recorded maximum of 6.0 degrees Celsius (below 3 degree from normal) and low of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag registered a low of minus 5.4 and maximum of 4.6 degrees Celsius.

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The night temperature in Pahalgam, also in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 7.9 degrees Celsius while it had maximum of 3.7 degrees Celsius against 6.4 degrees Celsius for the day, the official said.

The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded the minimum temperature of minus 9.4 degrees Celsius and was coldest place in the Valley as day temperature dropped to 2 degrees ceslius, he said.

Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius down from minus 5.2 degrees Celsius on previous night, he said.

The official said Leh recorded a low of minus 17.1 degrees Celsius on Tuesday night down from minus 14.7 degrees Celsius while it recorded maximum of 3.9 degrees Celsius. Kargil recorded minus 14.4 degrees Celsius while Drass continued to endure arctic conditions, recording a low of minus 21.1 and maximum o 1.3 degrees Celsius.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.

‘Chillai-Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir.

The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).

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