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Mercury in free fall in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: The cold wave intensified in Kashmir with the mercury plunging more than five degrees below the freezing point in Srinagar, and Gulmarg and Pahalgam recording their lowest temperatures so far this winter, officials said on Monday.

Srinagar recorded a low of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius on Sunday night as compared to 0.5 degrees Celsius the night before. This was the steepest drop in the night temperature in the city so far this winter, they said.

Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district recorded a low of minus 9.6 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg was the coldest place in Jammu and Kashmir with a minimum temperature of minus 10 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

The meteorological office has forecast dry weather in the region over the next few days which will lead to colder nights and slightly warmer days.

Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, recorded a low of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius — a six-degree drop from last night.

In Kupwara, the minimum temperature settled at minus 5.7 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’, the 40-day harshest weather period when the chances of snowfall are the maximum. It begins on December 21 and ends on January 30.

The cold wave continues even after that with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold) following it.


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