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Onset of Chillai-Kalan gives Kashmir season’s coldest night so far

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Srinagar: ‘Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day harshest winter period, started on a severe note on Wednesday with minimum temperatures plummeting to the season’s lowest in several places in Kashmir Valley including Srinagar which recorded a low of minus 4.2°C.

A meteorological department official said that the minimum temperature in Srinagar was 1.1°C below the previous night’s minus 3.1°C. Overall, he said, the mercury was 2.7°C below normal during this time of the year and surpassed this season’s previous lowest of minus 3.6°C that was recorded in the summer capital on Friday last.

Qazigund recorded a low of minus 4.2°C against minus 3.6°C on the previous night. The temperature was 2.6°C below normal for the gateway town of Kashmir, he said.

Pahalgam, he said, recorded a low of minus 6.2°C against minus 5.4°C on the previous night. Besides being below normal by 1.8°C, it was also the coldest night this season in the famous tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Kokernag recorded a low of minus 2.4°C against minus 1.8°C on the previous night and it was 0.7°C below normal for the place, he said.

Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 4.6°C against minus 4.0°C on the previous night, the official said. It was 0.2°C above normal for the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

In Kupwara town, the mercury settled at minus 4.4°C against minus 3.9°C on the previous night, the official said. While being 2.0°C below normal, it was also the coldest temperature recorded so far in the north Kashmir area, he said.

Jammu recorded a low of 6.3°C against 6.7°C on the previous night. It was 2.6°C below normal for J&K’s winter capital, he said. Banihal recorded a low of minus 2.0°C (below normal by 3.5°C and this season’s coldest), Batote 1.2°C (2.2°C below normal), Katra 6.8°C (0.8°C below normal) and Bhadarwah 0.6°C (1.0°C below normal).

In Ladakh, Leh and Kargil recorded a low of minus 11.8°C and minus 12.1°C respectively, the official said.

The meteorological department has forecast mostly dry weather in Jammu and Kashmir till December 24.

There is a possibility of rains or light snowfall in some parts of Kashmir around Christmas, it said.

‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ is a 40-day period when a cold wave grips Kashmir and temperatures drop considerably.

There are maximum chances of snowfall during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

‘Chillai-Kalan’ will end on January 30. The cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day ‘Chilla-Bachha’ (baby cold).

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