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Fresh snowfall disrupts flight operations at Srinagar airport

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Srinagar, Jan 19: Fresh snowfall in most parts of Kashmir disrupted flight operations at the airport here, officials said on Saturday.

There was fresh snowfall in the higher reaches as well as the plains, including in the Srinagar here, on Friday night, a meteorological department official said.

He said while there was light snowfall in the plains of Kashmir, the higher reaches received moderate snow.

The snowfall led to cancellation of flights and delays at the Srinagar airport.

"Few flights have been cancelled today because of bad weather, while most others have been delayed," an Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said.

The meteorological department has forecast widespread rain and snow over the state with heavy falls at isolated places from Saturday till Monday.

Meanwhile, Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of minus 2.0 degrees Celsius on Friday night, lower than minus 1.3 degrees Celsius on the previous night, the MeT official said.

Qazigund -- the gateway town to the Valley -- in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius last night, he said.

The mercury in north Kashmir's Kupwara town settled at a low of minus 0.8 degree Celsius.

The ski resort of Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 7.0 degrees Celsius, while the tourist resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperatures in Leh, in the frontier Ladakh region, and Drass were recorded at minus 9.2 degrees Celsius and minus 16.2 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Kargil was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir with a minimum temperature of minus 18.9 degrees Celsius.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' -- the 40-day harshest winter period -- when the chances of snowfall are believed to be high 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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