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Drass shivers as mercury plunges to minus 31.4 deg C

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Srinagar: Mercury in Drass, the second coldest inhabited place in the world, plunged 31 degrees below freezing point even as Kashmir continued to reel under intense cold wave conditions prevailing over the past two months, MET officials said on Monday.

Drass in Kargil district registered a low of minus 31.4 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, an official of the MET department said.

The maximum temperature recorded in the remote area of Jammu and Kashmir was minus 12.5 degrees Celsius on Sunday, the official said.

In Leh district, the mercury settled at a low of minus 15.9 degrees Celsius last night while the maximum temperature was nearly two degrees below freezing point on Sunday, he added.

Kashmir Valley, meanwhile, continued to reel under the intense cold wave conditions.

The minimum temperature in Srinagar on Sunday night settled at minus 3.5 degrees Celsius two degrees down from minus 1.4 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 5 degree Celsius, while nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 3.7 degrees Celsius on Sunday night.

The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at minus 6.3 degrees Celsius compared to previous night’s low of minus 6.5 degree Celsius, he said.

Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 12.6 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, a marginal dip over the previous night, while Pahalgam tourist resort, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 13.6 degrees Celsius, the official 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 ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).

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