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Cold wave intensifies in Kashmir valley

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Srinagar: Bandipora was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir with the minimum temperature in the north Kashmir district falling nearly eight degrees below freezing point, officials said on Wednesday.
Bandipora recorded a low of minus 7.9 degrees Celsius followed by Pulwama in south Kashmir at minus 7.3 degrees Celsius and Shopian at minus 6.9 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
Srinagar city recorded a minimum temperature of minus 5.3 degrees Celsius on Tuesday night, the officials said.
Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district recorded a minimum temperature of minus 6.3 degrees Celsius.
They said Qazigund town in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius and the ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.8 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Kokernag town settled at minus 2.3 degrees Celsius and in Kupwara at minus 5.3 degrees Celsius.
A dry and largely snowless winter in Kashmir has resulted in freezing nights and warmer than usual days as Srinagar day temperatures were over eight degrees above the normal temperature for this time of the year, officials said here.
Kashmir has been going through a prolonged dry spell and an 80 percent deficit in rainfall was recorded for December while there has been no precipitation in most parts of the valley in the first three weeks 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 weather office, however, has forecast the possibility of light snowfall at places in the valley from January 25 to January 31.
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.

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