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Minimum temperatures rise as Kashmir awaits another spell of snow

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Srinagar, Jan 17: A day after Kashmir witnessed a snowfall, the minimum temperature at most places in the Valley increased Wednesday night, providing much-needed relief to residents, the weatherman said.

The weather stayed mostly dry Wednesday night after intermittent snowfall on Tuesday, an official of the MeT department said.

He said similar conditions are likely to prevail for two more days -- Thursday and Friday -- after which another wet spell is expected for a few days.

In an advisory-cum-warning, the weatherman said an active western disturbance from Saturday is likely to disrupt air and surface transport besides triggering avalanches in higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir.

The advisory-cum-warning was addressed to Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir by Director Meteorological Department, Sonam Lotus.

In the advisory, Lotus said that a western disturbance is most likely affect the state of Jammu and Kashmir and adjoining areas from January 19 to 25 with main activity during 20 to 23 January and gradual decrease hereafter.

“Under the influence of this system, moderate to heavy snow/rain (in plains of Jammu region) is expected at widespread places of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh region,” he said, adding some places may receive very heavy rain/snow during these periods.

“Light snowfall would commence at a few places of Kashmir on 19th forenoon and increase in intensity and distribution thereafter,” he said.

Lotus said the weather activity may lead to disruption of surface and air transportation like highway (Srinagar-Jammu) and other major roads of the state.

In its general warning, the weatherman said: “Heavy precipitation may cause avalanches in higher reaches, landslide, and water logging in low-lying areas.”

It added that there will be significant fall in day temperature and slight rise in night temperature.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature in Srinagar rose from minus 2.1 degrees Celsius the previous night to minus 1.3 degrees Celsius.

He said Qazigund -- the gateway town to the Valley – in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius – up from minus 2.9 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 2.0 degrees Celsius Wednesday night.

The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at minus 1.5 degrees Celsius – an increase of over four degrees from minus 5.6 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said.

Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 10 degrees Celsius.

Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.1 degrees Celsius – down from the previous night's minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.

He said Leh in the frontier Ladakh region recorded a low of minus 12 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in the nearby Kargil settled at minus 20.2 degrees Celsius.

Drass, the second coldest inhabited place in the world, was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir at a low of minus 22.0 degrees Celsius.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' – the 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).

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