Press Trust of india

Kashmir under grip of cold wave, Pahalgam shivers at minus 10.3 deg C

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Srinagar, Jan 18: Kashmir continued to be in the grip of cold wave conditions as the minimum temperature stayed below the freezing point with Pahalgam tourist resort being the coldest recorded place in the valley, a weather department official said Friday.

The minimum temperature in Srinagar rose last night from minus 1.3 degrees Celsius to settle at minus 0.7 degree Celsius, the official said.

He said Qazigund – the gateway town to the valley – in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.7 degree Celsius – down from minus 0.2 degree Celsius the previous night.

The nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 2.0 degrees Celsius last night – same as the previous night.

The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius last night – down from minus 1.5 degrees Celsius a night earlier, the official said.

Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 10 degrees Celsius last night – same as the previous night.

Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 10.3 degrees Celsius – down from the previous night's minus 5.1 degrees Celsius, the official said.

The tourist resort town in south Kashmir -- which serves as the base camp for annual Amarnath Yatra -- was the coldest recorded place in the valley.

He said Leh in the frontier Ladakh region recorded a low of minus 15.6 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in the nearby Kargil settled at a low of minus 19.2 degrees Celsius.

A fresh western disturbance is expected to hit Kashmir from Saturday, resulting in moderate to heavy snowfall or rain over the next four days.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' – the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are 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 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).

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