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Sub-zero temperatures greet ‘Chillai-Kalan' in Kashmir

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On the first day of Chillai-Kalan, the sub zero temperatures give an icy tinge to Dal interiors. Photo/Javed Khan

Srinagar, Dec 21: 'Chillai-Kalan' -- the 40-day harshest winter period in Kashmir started its sojourn on a dry note on Friday but sub-zero temperatures were nevertheless there to greet it.

The 'Chillai-Kalan' which begins with winter solstice ends on January 31, is considered to be the harshest part of winter season in Kashmir during which the chances of snowfalls are believed to be most frequent and maximum. Temperatures also drop considerably during this period even though cold wave continues even after the 40 days of ‘Chillai Kalan’, which is followed by a 20-day 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chilla-Bachha' (baby cold).

The Metrological department officials said while the weather remained dry across Kashmir, temperatures dipped at most places last night and settled several notches below the freezing point.

The minimum temperature last night was also several points below the normal for this part of the season in the Valley, they said.

Srinagar was the only place in the Valley where the night temperature rose last night.

The city recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius last night compared to minus 4.9 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.

They said the minimum temperature in the city was around three notches below the normal for this time of the season.

The officials said Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.7 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius last night.

Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius last night, they said.

The night temperature in Pahalgam in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius last night – down from the previous night's minus 6.8 degrees Celsius.

The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a minimum temperature of minus 6.0 degrees Celsius last night – down from the previous night's minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

The normal for this time of the winter in the twin resorts is minus 4.4 degrees Celsius and minus 4.8 degrees Celsius respectively.

Leh district of Ladakh region recorded a low of minus 12.7 degrees Celsius last night – up from minus 14.7 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.

The nearby Kargil registered the minimum temperature of minus 15.1 degrees Celsius last night.

The MET office has forecast mainly dry weather for the week ahead.

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