SRINAGAR – The cold wave continued its record breaking spree in Kashmir as Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season with the city freezing at minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, MeT Office said on Friday.
The minimum temperature across Kashmir and Ladakh remained several degrees below the freezing point on Friday owing to clear sky, an official of the Meteorological Department said.
He said Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season so far as the minimum temperature in the city settled at minus 5.6 degrees Celsius last night 0.6 degrees down from minus 5.0 degree Celsius the previous night, leading to freezing of water supply lines at several places.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded the low of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius last night up from the previous night’s minus 11.2 degrees Celsius, he said.
The night temperature at Pahalgam resort, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 12.0 degrees Celsius as against minus 12.7 degrees Celsius yesterday, he said.
Pahalgam, in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, was the coldest recorded place in the valley, he added.
The official said Qazigund the gateway town to the valley – in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 10.5 degrees Celsius a decrease of nearly two degrees from minus 9.8 degrees Celsius yesterday.
Kokernag town, also in south, recorded a low of minus 7.0 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in north, registered the minimum of minus 6.3 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said Leh town in the Ladakh Union territory recorded a low of minus 20.7 degrees Celsius, down from minus 18 degrees Celsius yesterday.
The MeT Office has forecast mainly dry weather for the week ahead.
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’ began on December 21 and 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).
Massive Traffic Snarl On Kashmir Highway
Heavy traffic jams were witnessed on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway at Nagrota toll post on Friday as authorities did not allow fresh Kashmir-bound traffic due to bad weather, triggering protests by drivers.
“Everybody is informed that the highway is closed. No vehicle in any circumstances will be allowed to move towards Kashmir”, a policeman carrying a microphone announced at the Nagrota traffic checkpost.
However, a traffic police official at traffic police control (TPCR) said there is a traffic jam on the highway but the highway is open for traffic.
Over 1000 vehicles have been stranded at various places.
When the highway will reopen, the bus and truck drivers will be allowed to move towards Kashmir, the policeman said.
As a result of the stoppage of vehicles, heavy jam of vehicles is seen on the highway for several kilometers.
Drivers said they moved towards Kashmir only after a go ahead from traffic police but have been stopped.
Alleging traffic mismanagement, drivers held protests on the highway. They also parked vehicles on the highway resulting in total shutdown of the highway.
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