Mercury plunges several degrees below freezing point
Srinagar, Dec 14: Pahalgam tourist resort experienced the coldest December night in over a decade as the minimum temperature at most places in the Valley settled several degrees below the freezing point, an official of the Meteorological department said Friday.
The night temperature in Pahalgam in south Kashmir plunged over eight degrees Thursday night from the previous night’s minus 1.5 degrees Celsius to settle at a low of minus 9.7 degrees Celsius, he said.
The official said Thursday was the coldest December night on record in the past over a decade at the tourist resort.
Pahalgam had recorded minus 10.4 degrees Celsius on December 15, 2007 and the minimum temperature had not settled lower than that at the resort since.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir – also experienced the coldest December night in the last three years.
Gulmarg recorded the minimum temperature of minus 10.6 degrees Celsius Thursday night – a drop of over a degree from the previous night’s minus 9.5 degrees Celsius, the official said.
It is the lowest night temperature for this month at Gulmarg in the last three years after the resort had recorded a low of minus 12.5 degrees Celsius on December 24, 2015.
Gulmarg was the coldest recorded place in the state – colder than Leh and Kargil towns of the frontier Ladakh region.
Leh recorded a minimum temperature of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius last night – an increase of three degrees from the previous night’s minus 8.9 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said the mercury in the nearby Kargil town settled at a low of minus 9.9 degrees Celsius, compared to minus 9.3 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The official said Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 1.0 degree Celsius last night – down from 0.1 degree Celsius the previous night.
Qazigund recorded a low of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius.
Kupwara in north Kashmir saw the mercury settling at minus 3.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.
The MeT Office has forecast mainly dry weather over the week ahead, but said the minimum temperature would drop further below the freezing point.
In the Jammu region, Jammu city recorded 7.4, Katra 5.4, Batote minus 1.2 while Bannihal and Bhaderwah recorded minus 1.6 degrees Celsius.