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Slight relief from harsh cold in Kashmir as min temperature improves

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Srinagar: The minimum temperature improved across Kashmir on Friday providing slight relief from the intense cold conditions, even as the meteorological department forecast colder days and warmer nights ahead owing to a cloud cover, officials said.

Srinagar recorded the minimum temperature of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday a degree up from the previous night, the officials said.

Gulmarg, the famous skiing resort in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 9.0 degrees Celsius — up from minus 9.6 degrees the previous night.

The officials said Pahalgam, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 6.6 degrees Celsius up from minus 8.9 degrees Celsius the previous night.

They said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded the minimum of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius, while the nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 3.3 degrees Celsius.

The mercury at Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 2.6 degrees Celsius.

The MeT office has forecast colder days and warmer nights ahead owing to a cloud cover.

It said there could be light snow over the higher reaches of Kashmir on January 2 and 3.

Also, widespread snow/rain spell of moderate intensity is most likely from January 4 to 6 with the main activity on January 5 and 6. Heavy snow is expected at some places during the period as well, it said.

The weather may affect surface and air transport, the MeT office said.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of the 40-day harshest winter period known as ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ which began on December 21.

It is a period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably, leading to the freezing of water bodies, including the famous Dal Lake here, as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.

The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy to very heavy snowfall.

The Chilla-i-Kalan will end by the end of January but the cold wave will continue with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).



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