Slight respite from cold conditions in Kashmir, snowfall starts at scattered places
Srinagar: There was a slight respite in the cold wave conditions in Kashmir as the mercury rose by a few degrees across the Valley in anticipation of snowfall which started in Srinagar and other areas in the Kashmir plains on Thursday, breaking the dry spell.
Most of the plains in the Valley, including Srinagar, received light snowfall from late in the afternoon, they said.
The snowfall was continuing when the last reports came in.
Other areas in the higher reaches of the Kashmir Valley received moderate snow, the officials said.
Reports of snowfall were received from the ski resort town of Gulmarg, Gurez, Bandipora, and Kupwara in north Kashmir as well as many areas in central and south Kashmir.
Meanwhile, during the preceding night, some improvement in the minimum temperature across the Valley was witnessed as the mercury rose by around three degrees, providing slight relief from the intense cold which had led to the freezing of water supply lines in several areas, as well as the interiors of Dal Lake and other water-bodies in Kashmir.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar settled at minus 3.2 degrees Celsius — up from minus 5.6 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, the officials said.
Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius — up from minus 7.4 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in the skiing destination of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district was minus 4.8 degrees Celsius — up from minus 6 degrees Celsius.
In the frontier Kupwara district, the minimum temperature settled at minus 3.3 degrees Celsius, while Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, recorded 3.2 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
Kokernag recorded a low of minus 2.3 degrees Celsius.
Although there was brief snowfall in Pahalgam and adjoining areas in south Kashmir, the Valley is going through a dry spell with no major precipitation forecast till the end of December.
However, according to the Meteorological (MeT) Department there is a possibility (with over 75 percent chance) of intermittent light to moderate snowfall at scattered to fairly widespread places in the Valley from Thursday (evening) to Friday.
There is no forecast of any major snowfall till January 05, it added.
Kashmir is currently in the grip of ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ — the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably, leading to the freezing of water bodies as well as water supply lines in several parts of the Valley.
The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period. Most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.
‘Chillai-Kalan’ began on December 21 and ends on January 30. It will be followed by 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold), and a 10-day-long ‘Chilla-Bachha’ (baby cold).