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Intense cold conditions continue in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Intense cold conditions continued in Kashmir with freezing night temperature on Friday even as there was a marginal increase in the minimum temperature in Srinagar city and Gulmarg tourist resort, the meteorological department said.

Srinagar and the ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir were the only places in the Valley where the night temperature improved Thursday night, it said.

According to MeT, all the other weather stations across the Valley registered a further decrease in the minimum temperature.

Srinagar recorded a low of minus 6.0 degrees Celsius, up from the previous night’s minus 6.4 degrees Celsius which was the coldest night of the season.

The mercury in Gulmarg settled at a low of minus 10.6 degrees Celsius, up from minus 11.0 degrees Celsius. The resort continued to be the coldest recorded place in the Union territory.

Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 9.2 degrees Celsius, MeT officials said.

They said Qazigund – the gateway town to the Valley – recorded the minimum temperature of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in the north, registered a low of minus 6.3 degrees Celsius and Kokernag, in the south, minus 5.4 degrees Celsius.

The MeT office said while no major snowfall is expected till the end of this month in the UT, there is a possibility of light to moderate snowfall during December 21-22 at isolated places in Kashmir.

Absence of fresh snowfall on new year eve is unlikely to disappoint scores of tourists and adventure lovers who have made bookings for celebrating the occasion in Gulmarg and Pahalgam.

There is snow on the ground in Gulmarg and the entire meadow is bedecked with a white snow blanket to welcome tourists.

Encouragingly for the local tourist industry, all hotels and huts in Gulmarg are completely sold out to new year enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, Jammu city had 2.8 degree Celsius, Katra 3.6, Batote 0.3, Bannihal minus 0.6 and Bhaderwah minus 3.5 Celsius as the minimum temperatures.

Leh town of Ladakh witnessed minus 18.4, Kargil minus 17.0 and Drass minus 28.5 as the minimum temperatures.

Night temperatures have started dropping below the freezing point in Kashmir division and Ladakh ahead of the 40-day long period of harsh winter cold called the “Chillai Kalan” in local parlance which begins on December 21.

The summer flow of all the rivers, streams, springs and lakes in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh depends upon how well have the perennial water reservoirs in the mountains been replenished by a bountiful snowfall during the Chillai Kalan.

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