Kashmir Valley continues to reel under a severe cold wave with Srinagar recording a minimum temperature of bone-chilling minus 7.7 degrees Celsius on Thursday night.
A Met department official said that the minimum temperature fell more than 2 degrees Celsius from minus 5.6 degrees Celsius the previous night in Srinagar. The minimum temperature in famous tourist resort Pahalgam, which serves as a base camp during the annual Amarnath Yatra, was minus 12 degrees Celsius while north Kashmir’s famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 11.5 degrees Celsius, he said.
The minimum temperatures have consistently remained far below normal this season. Srinagar had recorded a 30-year low temperature of minus 8.4 degrees Celsius on January 14 and since then it has mostly remained below minus 5 degrees.
In 1991, Srinagar witnessed a low of minus 11.8 degrees Celsius while the lowest ever recorded temperature in Kashmir is minus 14.4 degrees Celsius witnessed on 31 January 1893.
Water bodies, including Dal Lake, have been freezing due to the cold wave. The drinking water taps and supply pipes have also frozen at many places in recent days, leading to water shortage. After several years, even Srinagar city is witnessing the formation of huge icicles from the rooftops and slippery surfaces during the morning which has been compounding problems for commuters.
But as the 40-day harshest winter period of ‘Chilai Kalan’ which begins on December 21 and concludes on January 30, is about to end, Kashmir is likely to see an end to the freezing temperatures. The MeT department has predicted the cold wave to continue till the weekend.