Srinagar: Kashmir valley is reeling under harshest winter in decades with mercury remaining several degree below normal due to open skies and chilly winds from snow clad mountains.
A Met department spokesperson told UNI that the weather will remain dry during the next about a week in Kashmir valley. “Due to open skies, the minimum temperature is expected to dip further though day temperature is expected to improve due to sunshine,” he added.
Even though there was an improvement of 3 degree in the night temperature, Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir, was the coldest place in the valley at minus 8.6 degree, which is over 1 degree below normal.
Meanwhile, there was no respite from chilly weather conditions even as the minimum temperature settled over 5 degree below normal in the summer capital, Srinagar, where dense fog and frozen roads affected normal life in the morning.
World famous Dal Lake and other water-bodies remained frozen in Srinagar, where authorities have launched operation to deliver emergency rations and medicines to Shikarawalas who are unable to move out due to frozen water in Dal and Nigeen lakes. Against minus 8.4 degree recorded on Thursday, the night temperature in the city was minus 7.6 degree, which is over 5 degree below normal. However, there was some relief in the afternoon due to sunshine though ice cold winds continued.
The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg was the only place in the valley where the minimum temperature settled above normal. Against minus 7 degree recorded on Thursday, the night temperature at the ski resort settled at minus 5.5 degree, which is about 3 degree above normal. “Despite chilly weather conditions due to ice cold winds, the tourists are out on ski slopes enjoying different snow related activities. All the ski slopes have been thrown open for tourists,” a hotelier from Gulmarg told UNI over the phone.
He said the night temperature at Muzafarabad in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) improved and settled at 4.9 degree, against 8 degree recorded on Thursday. “Mirpur also witnessed improvement in night temperature, which settled at 8.2 degree, against 7.2 degree recorded on Wednesday,” he added.
The night temperature at Qazigind, gateway to the valley, Kupwara in north Kashmir and tourist resort of Kokernag improved and settled at minus 8.3 degree, minus 5.7 degree and minus 8.4 degree, respectively.