Cold Wave Conditions Intensify Across Valley

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People walk on the banks of Dal lake in Srinagar. Photo: Abid Bhat / KO

SRINAGAR – Chilly weather conditions have further intensified with night temperature further dipping and settling below normal across Kashmir valley, where sun played hide and seek though ice cold winds continued on Friday.

All the waterbodies, including lakes and streams, were frozen as the mercury remained several degrees below sub-zero in Ladakh region, where people are mostly dependent on hot water springs during winter months. Border town of Kargil was the coldest place in the region at minus 23.7 degree, followed by Leh, where the mercury dipped and settled at minus 14.9 degree.

A Met department spokesperson said that weather will remain mostly dry to rain and snow at some places in the valley. However, he said the weather will again turn dry from Saturday onwards, which cloud result in further dip in the minimum temperature though the maximum temperature is expected to improve.

After witnessing a dip of 3 degree in the night temperature, people woke up to a chilly Friday morning in the summer capital, Srinagar. However, as the day progressed, sun came out from behind the clouds, resulting in some improvement in the maximum temperature though ice cold winds continued. The night temperature in the city settled at minus 3.9 degree, which is about a degree below normal.

The 40-day-long ‘Chalai-Kalan’, the severest period of winter, which commenced from December 21 last year, received the heaviest snowfall, breaking about 30 years old record in Srinagar. Meanwhile, ‘Chilai Khurd’ which began from Thursday, will be followed by10-day-long “Chilai Bacha” in the valley, where people are facing frequent power failure, coupled with bad roads.

The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, was the coldest place in the valley as the mercury dipped about a degree from Thursday and settled at minus 12 degree. “Bright sunshine greeted tourists, including foreigners, who are out on ski slopes enjoying different activities,” a hotelier said.

The mercury at world famous health resort of Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir, dipped about a degree from Thursday and settled at minus 11.8 degree, which is below normal.

The night temperature at Qazigund, Kupwara in north Kashmir and tourist resort of Kokernag dipped and settled at minus 5.5 degree, minus 4.2 degree and minus 4 degree, respectively.

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