The minimum temperature in most parts of Kashmir fell but stood several degrees above normal for this time of the season, except in Gulmarg, officials said on Monday. Fresh snowfall was recorded in several parts of the valley, especially in southern Kashmir, officials said.
They said the famous tourist resort of Pahalgam received about five inches of snowfall, while Kokernag about two inches. The famous ski resort of Gulmarg recorded five inches of snowfall, they said. Snowfall was reported in some other areas in the upper valley, including Sonamarg as well, they said. Officials said the administration pressured men and machines to clear the snow.
The minimum temperature in most places in the valley dropped Sunday evening. The low was also several degrees above normal for this time of the season in most places, officials said.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of 2.8 degrees Celsius from 0.4 degrees Celsius the previous night, they said. Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius from minus 6 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Pahalgam, which also serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 0.8 degrees Celsius from minus 1.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, they said. Officials said Qazigund recorded a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius, while the nearby town of Kokernag in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.5 degrees Celsius.
The low at Kupwara in North Kashmir stood at a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius. The MET Office forecast light rain or snow in isolated locations over two days.
The Kashmir valley is currently in the grip of the harshest 40-day winter period known as ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ which started on December 21 last year. ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ is a time when a cold spell grips the region and the temperature drops drastically causing water bodies to freeze including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the supply pipes water in several parts of the valley.
Chances of snowfall are most frequent and highest during this time and most areas, especially the higher reaches, receive heavy to very heavy snowfall. The ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31, but the cold spell continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (little cold) and ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (cold baby) .
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