SRINAGAR Most of the people in Srinagar woke up shivering on Thursday morning as they experienced the coldest December night in nearly three decades.
A weather office official said Srinagar recorded a low of minus 7.6 degree Celsius, a degree and two notches below minus 8.8 degrees Celsius recorded on 7 December 1990 in the summer capital of the state.
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.
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).
The official said Qazigund the gateway town to the Valley recorded a low of minus 6.1 against last nights minus 5.9 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag registered a low of minus 6.2 against previous nights minus 5.4 degrees Celsius.
The night temperature in Pahalgam, also in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 8.3 against minus 7.9 degrees Celsius on preceding night, the official said.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded the minimum temperature of minus 9.0 degrees Celsius and was coldest place in the Valley, he said.
Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6.7 degrees Celsius down from minus 6.4 degrees Celsius on previous night, he said.
Avoid Cold: Doctors
The Doctors Association Kashmir, which represents a union of doctors, warned of increase in heart attacks, referring to the research showing an increase of 53% in such cases during peak winters.
Frigid temperatures constrict blood vessels and increases blood pressure. Such a condition makes heart attack or stroke more likely. The blood tends to be thicker and stickier during extreme cold, which makes it easier to clot, said DAK president Dr. Nisar-ul-Hassan.
To keep houses warm, people in the Valley have shifted to both traditional and modern mode of heating. However, hamam, a room in traditional houses where firewood is burnt beneath the surface made of special stones, continues to remain the preferred mode of keeping the houses warm.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.