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Cold wave intensifies in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: Cold wave conditions in Kashmir intensified as the minimum temperature plunged further below the freezing point across the valley owing to clear skies even as the Meteorological Department has forecast rains and snow from Thursday, officials said.

Srinagar recorded a low of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius on Tuesday night — down from minus 2.7 degrees Celsius the night before, they said. The minimum temperature was 2 degree below normal.

Qazigund, the gateway to the Valley, registered a minimum of minus 7.4 degrees Celsius, 4.1 degrees below normal.

Kokernag in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6.2 degrees Celsius, while the minimum in Kupwara, a frontier district, settled at minus 6.2 degrees Celsius, nearly 8 degrees below normal, the officials said.

Pahalgam in Anantnag district, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, registered a low of minus 11.7 degrees Celsius, almost same as previous night.

The minimum temperature at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in Baramulla district also stayed around the previous night’s minus 11.5 degrees Celsius.

The meteorological office said the weather will remain mainly dry across J-K till January 18. There will be a further decrease in the night temperature till that time. It said, a few western disturbances are likely to affect J-K from January 19 to 25.

The weather will remain cloudy from January 19-21 with chances of light rain or snow over isolated to scattered places mainly over higher reaches.

However, it said a much higher intensity precipitation will occur from the night of January 22 to the forenoon of January 24 and there is a possibility of widespread moderate snow in plains of Kashmir (with rains in Jammu) and moderate to heavy snow over middle and higher reaches.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai Kalan’, the 40-day harshest weather period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent. Chillai Kalan begins on December 21 and ends on January 30. The cold wave continues even after that with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai Khurd’ and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai Bachha’ following it.


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