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Cold wave conditions revisit Kashmir

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Srinagar, Jan 27: Owing to clear sky, the cold wave intensified in Kashmir as the mercury stayed several degrees below the freezing point at all weather stations in the Valley, the MET department said on Sunday.

The minimum temperature in Srinagar on Saturday night settled at minus 1.4 degrees Celsius – slightly up from minus 1.8 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said.

He said Qazigund – the gateway town to the Valley – in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6.6 degree Celsius, a dip of over three degrees over the previous night's minus 3.2 degrees Celsius.

The nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 6.9 degrees Celsius last night, almost same as minus 6.8 degrees Celsius the previous night, he said.

The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir dipped to minus 6.5 degrees Celsius compared to previous night's low of minus 2.6 degree Celsius, he said.

Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 12 degrees Celsius on Saturday night, a rise of two degrees over the previous night, while Pahalgam tourist resort, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 13 degrees Celsius, the official said.

He said Leh, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded a low of 15.5 degrees Celsius, a rise of one degree over previous night.

The mercury in nearby Kargil settled at a low of minus 20.7 degrees Celsius.

Nearby Drass town was coldest in the state on Sunday with a minimum temperature of minus 28.7 degrees Celsius, the weather office said.

On Saturday, even the maximum temperature in Drass did not rise above the freezing point as it settled at minus 10.1 degrees Celsius.

"Minimum temperatures will drop further in the state with the weather likely to remain dry during the next three days," an official of the Met department said.

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 'Chilla-Bachha' (baby cold).

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