A day before the onset of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – the harshest 40-day period of the winter in the valley, cold wave intensified as the mercury dipped and settled several degree below freezing point due to open skies in Kashmir, where the maximum temperature remained slightly above normal due to sunshine.
Meanwhile, people continued to shiver in Ladakh region, where border town of Leh was the coldest place in the region at minus 14.7 degree.
A Met department spokesperson told UNI that weather will remain dry in the first week of ‘Chillai-Kalan’, which starts from Friday. “The night temperature is expected to dip further due to dry weather though the day temperature could remain near normal,” he added.
The night temperature in Leh dipped about 9 degree from Wednesday and settled at minus 14.7 degree. “The sky will be mainly clear during the next 24 hours in Leh, where maximum and minimum temperatures will be around 7 degree and minus 17 degree, respectively,” he said. Even though world famous tourist resort of Pahalgam was the only place in the region which witnessed improvement in the night temperature, it was still the coldest place in the valley. Against minus 8.4 degree recorded on Wednesday, the night temperature in Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir, was 6.8 degree, which is over 2 degree below normal.
Water bodies, including world famous Dal Lake, were again partly frozen, particularly near the banks and interior areas as the mercury dipped about 2 degree from Wednesday and settled at minus 4.9 degree in the summer capital, Srinagar. After witnessing over 3 degree below normal night temperature, people woke up to a chilly Thursday morning due to ice cold winds. However, as the day progressed sun came out, bringing some respite from the chilly weather conditions though the ice cold winds continued.
He said the sky will be mainly clear during the next 24 hours in Srinagar, where maximum and minimum temperatures will be around 10 degree and minus 5 degree, respectively. World famous ski resort of Gulmarg, which is about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, also witnessed a dip in the night temperature, which settled at minus 5.4 degree, against minus 4 degree recorded on Wednesday. The night temperature in Gulmarg, where the ski slopes are under three to four feet of snow, settled over a degree below normal. The mercury at Qazigund, gateway to the valley, Kupwara in north Kashmir and tourist resort of Kukernag dipped and settled at minus 4.2 degree, minus 5.5 degree and minus 3.8 degree, respectively.
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