Cold wave returns to Kashmir; Srinagar shivers at minus 4.2 degrees Celsius
Srinagar: Cold wave conditions returned to Kashmir as the mercury plunged several degrees below freezing point after a day’s respite provided by a feeble western disturbance on Saturday, officials said on Sunday.
A dry and largely snowless winter in Kashmir has resulted in freezing nights and warmer than usual days as Srinagar’s day temperatures were over eight degrees above the normal for this time of the year, officials said here.
Srinagar city recorded a minimum temperature of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday night, 4.4 degrees less than Friday’s 0.2 degrees Celsius.
Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded the coldest night of the season with the minimum temperature plummeting 4.5 notches below normal to settle at 2.5 degrees Celsius, they said.
The maximum temperature in Jammu also dipped to settle at 8.9 degrees Celsius, which was 9 degrees Celsius below normal for this part of the season. The maximum temperature in the city was found to be lower than Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Kokernag, Sonamarg, Leh, Drass and Srinagar.
Jammu is reeling under extreme severe cold wave over the past fortnight with the mercury hovering several notches below normal due to foggy conditions in the morning hours and absence of the Sun during the day.
Foggy weather has also hit the rail and air traffic, causing inconvenience to the passengers.
Samba recorded a minimum temperature of 3 degrees Celsius and a maximum temperature of 13 degrees Celsius, the MeT department said.
Rajouri recorded the highest temperature in Jammu and Kashmir with a maximum temperature of 22.2 degrees Celsius. It was followed by Udhampur with a maximum temperature of 22.1 degrees Celsius.
Banihal along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway recorded a maximum of 20.8 degrees Celsius, which is 10.5 degrees Celsius above normal. However, the night temperature in the highway town was minus 0.8 degrees Celsius.
Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district, recorded a maximum of 20.9 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 3.9 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Bhaderwah in Doda district recorded a high of 18.4 degrees Celsius and a low of minus 1.1 degree Celsius.
Qazigund recorded a low of minus 4 degrees while Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded minus 1.2 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district recorded a minimum temperature of minus 5.5 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Kokernag town settled at minus 2.2 degrees Celsius and in Kupwara at minus 4 degrees Celsius.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of “Chilla-i-Kalan”, a 40-day harsh winter period, when a cold wave sweeps the region and temperatures drop considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies as well as water in pipes.
The chances of snowfall are the highest during this period and most areas, particularly the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.
Kashmir has been going through a prolonged dry spell and a 79 percent deficit in rainfall was recorded for December while there has been no precipitation in most parts of the valley in the first fortnight of January.
There has been no snowfall in most plain areas of Kashmir, while the upper reaches of the valley have received lesser than usual amount of snow. The meteorological department has forecast mainly dry weather till January 21.
Kashmir Images is an English language daily newspaper published from Srinagar (J&K), India. The newspaper is one of the largest circulated English dailies of Kashmir and its hard copies reach every nook and corner of Kashmir Valley besides Jammu and Ladakh region.