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Kashmir valley remains in grip of cold


Srinagar : Cold wave conditions remained unabated as the night temperature across Kashmir division of Jammu and Kashmir continued to stay below the freezing point with weatherman forecasting the dry spell to continue this week as well.

Leh in frontier Ladakh region, 434 kms from here, continued to be the coldest recorded place in the state with minus 13.0 degrees Celsius – marking an improvement of over one degree compared to previous night’s minus 14.4, a spokesperson of MeT here said.

Neighbouring Kargil town was the second coldest recorded place with a low of minus 12.0 degrees Celsius, two notches up from yesterday’s minus 14.0 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in the summer capital Srinagar witnessed a drop of one degree to settle at minus 4.    2 degrees Celsius.

The day temperature in the city has hovered around 12.0 degrees Celsius – almost six degrees above normal during this part of the season – over the past week but was expected to drop today as the sun remained behind a cloud cover.

He said Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir, which serves as the base camp for annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 2.7 degrees Celsius against minus 5.7 degrees Celsius the previous night.

Famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir, a star attraction for tourists, recorded a low of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius, the Spokesperson said.

Night temperature also dropped slightly in Qazigund, Kokernag and Kupwara towns as the mercury settled at minus 3.2 degrees Celsius, minus 1.3 degrees Celsius and minus 2.5 degrees Celsius respectively, the official said.

The Meteorological Department has predicted mainly dry weather, however, it said there is possibility of isolated rains on January 20.

Chillai-Kalan, which began with winter solstice on December 21 and ends January 31, is the harshest period of winter in Kashmir when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum.

The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold).

However, the harshest winter period has thus far remained largely dry except for brief spells of light snow in plains on two occasions and moderate snowfall in the higher reaches on a few occasions.

The dry weather has resulted in increase in common ailments like cough and cold among the people here.

The doctors have advised people, especially children and old-aged, to take precautions and refrain from venturing out in the mornings and evenings.

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