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Improved weather brings slight respite from cold in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Jan 20: There was a slight respite from cold conditions in Kashmir as the minimum temperature improved on Saturday night due to a cloud cover, even as the MeT Office has predicted heavy rains or snowfall till Tuesday.

The night temperature rose across the Valley on Saturday night as a thick cloud cover enveloped Kashmir, a MeT department official said.

There was intermittent light snowfall in most parts of Kashmir, including the plain areas, he said.

The Valley witnessed a cloudy but dry morning on Sunday, the official said.

The MeT department has forecast widespread rain and snow over the state with heavy falls at isolated places till Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature in Srinagar on Saturday night settled at minus 0.3 degrees Celsius -- up from minus 2.0 degrees Celsius on the previous night, the official said.

Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, in south Kashmir recorded a low of 0.4 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 1.0 degrees Celsius on Saturday night.

The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 0.5 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius Saturday night, while Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius, the official said.

He said Leh recorded a low of minus 9.7 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in Drass registered a low of minus 12.8 degrees Celsius. Drass was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir.

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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