Cold wave conditions intensified across Kashmir as the minimum temperature at most places in the valley went down, even as the Meteorological Department has forecast further fall in the temperature over the next few days, officials said on Thursday.
They said the Gulmarg resort recorded a low of minus 9.6 degrees Celsius, up from minus 10.4 degrees the previous night. The officials said Pahalgam, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 8.9 degrees Celsius – down from minus 6.6 degrees Celsius the previous night.
They said Srinagar recorded the minimum temperature of minus 4 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night – down from the previous night's minus 2.3 degrees Celsius. They said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded the minimum of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius.
The nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 3.6 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius.
The MET Office has forecast further fall in the minimum temperature over the next few days. It said there is possibility of light rain/snow at a few places mostly in higher reaches over two days from January 1, while as there is likelihood of widespread snow/rain of moderate intensity during January 4 to 6.
Kashmir valley is currently under the grip of the 40-day harshest winter period known as 'Chilla-i-Kalan' which began on December 21. 'Chilla-i-Kalan' is a period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.
The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy to very heavy snowfall. The 'Chilla-i-Kalan' will end on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day-long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).
With inputs from PTI.