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Cold-wave conditions continue in Kashmir

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Another spell of snow expected from Jan 19

Srinagar, Jan 15: The sun shone bright on Kashmir Valley for the second consecutive day Tuesday with clear skies bringing down the night temperature considerably even as the weatherman predicted another spell of snow from January 19 to January 23.

Srinagar recorded a low of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius, a slight improvement from the previous night's minus 6.4 degrees Celsius.

Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius, down by over a degree, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a minimum temperature of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius Monday night, a drop of three degrees.

Drass in Kargil region, the second coldest inhabited place in the world, witnessed a minimum temperature of minus 26.6 degrees Celsius Monday night, a MeT department official said Tuesday.

Mercury in Kargil settled at a low of minus 19.2 degrees Celsius while the Leh region recorded a low of minus 17.5 degrees Celsius.

Kupwara town in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 7.7 degrees Celsius while Pahalgam registered a minimum temperature of minus 12.3 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg registered a minimum temperature of minus 10 degrees Celsius and a maximum of minus 1.6 degrees Celsius.

According to the weatherman, this was the first time when the maximum temperature there stayed below freezing point for more than 24 hours.

The meteorological office has forecast dry weather for the next few days, followed by another spell of rain and snow from Friday.

Director Meteorological Department, J&K, Sonam Lotus said that another snow spell of stronger intensity is expected from January 19, with a peak on January 22.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' – a 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are believed to be most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.

'Chillai-Kalan' ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chilla-Bachha' (baby cold).

Meanwhile, the night temperatures across Jammu division also stayed several degrees below normal after the recent snowfall in the high-altitude areas, officials said.

The winter capital of the state recorded a low of 3.5 degrees Celsius, which is over 3 notches below normal, a spokesperson of the meteorological department said.

High-altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir experienced moderate to heavy snowfall last week, resulting in considerable dip in the mercury. The minimum temperature fell to 3.9 degrees Celsius on Monday against 7.3 degrees Celsius the previous night.

Jammu recorded a high of 20.3 degrees Celsius on Monday against 19.1 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

In other parts of Jammu region, Bhadarwah town in Doda district emerged as the coldest recorded place with a low of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius.

Katra town, the base camp for pilgrims visiting the famous Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district, recorded a low of 5.3 degrees Celsius, the spokesperson said, adding Banihal and Batote towns along Jammu-Srinagar national highway recorded a minimum of 3.2 degrees Celsius and 1.5 degrees Celsius respectively.

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