Snowfall begins in upper reaches of Kashmir, rains lash plains
Srinagar: The minimum temperature at most places in Kashmir settled below the freezing point, even as the weather office forecast light to moderate snowfall at fairly widespread places over two days from Sunday, officials said.
Barring Kokernag and Pahalgam, the minimum temperature decreased across the Valley on Saturday night, the officials said.
Srinagar recorded a low of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius on Saturday night, down from the previous night’s 1.7 degrees Celsius.
They said Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, recorded a minimum of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius.
The nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district recorded a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, up from minus 5.1 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The minimum temperature in Gulmarg settled at a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius — a degree down from the previous night.
The MET Office has said a spell of rain and snow is most likely to occur over two days from Sunday.
“Light to moderate snowfall at scattered to fairly widespread places is likely to occur from Sunday evening to Monday morning,” it said.
Kashmir Valley is currently under the grip of the 40-day harshest winter period known as ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ which began on Tuesday.
‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ is a period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water-bodies including the Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.
The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy to very heavy snowfall.
The ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chilla-Bachha’ (baby cold).