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Valley braces for heavy snowfall

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Srinagar, Jan 18: The weather office on Friday said that heavy to very heavy snowfall will occur in the Kashmir Valley starting from Saturday.

Sonum Lotus, Director of the regional MET Office, said the snowfall will gradually become heavier and stronger in intensity till January 23rd.

Divisional administration have warned people not to move around in avalanche-prone areas, store enough edibles and other essentials as both surface and air connectivity is likely to remain disrupted during this period.

Meanwhile, during the preceding night, Kashmir continued to remain 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.

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

They 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, officials said.

The tourist resort town in south Kashmir was the coldest recorded place in the Valley.

They 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.

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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