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Mercury goes up a bit to bring slight respite from severe cold conditions in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Kashmir got some respite from intense cold wave conditions as the minimum temperature rose slightly across the valley, officials said here on Thursday.

As the minimum stayed several degrees below freezing point several waterbodies, including Dal Lake, froze overnight. A thin layer of ice had formed over the surface of Dal Lake as Srinagar city recorded a  minimum temperature of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius last night, officials said. 

Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district recorded a minimum temperature of minus 5.1 degrees Celsius, up from the previous night’s minus 6.6 degrees Celsius, they said.

Gulmarg skiing resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

Qazigund recorded a low of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius while Kokernag town saw the minimum settle at minus 2.4 degrees Celsius and Kupwara recorded a minimum of minus 3.9 degrees Celsius.

Kashmir has been going through a prolonged dry spell with no precipitation forecast over the next few days, the officials said, adding December month was 79 per cent deficit on rainfall.

There has been no snowfall in most plain areas of Kashmir while upper reaches of the valley have also received lesser than usual amounts of snow by the end of December.

The open skies have resulted in the minimum temperature sliding further in most parts, including Srinagar, the officials said.

Kashmir is currently under 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, including the Dal Lake as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.

The chances of snowfall are the highest during this period and most areas, especially the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31.

However, the cold conditions will continue after that with a 20-day-long ‘Chilla-i-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chilla Bachha’ (baby cold).

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