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Kashmir reeling under sub-zero temperatures, no respite from intense cold wave

Jammu, the winter capital of the union territory, has been colder than Srinagar for the past couple of days, recording a high of 9 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, which was nine degrees below the normal.
Last Updated 11 January 2024, 08:03 IST

Srinagar: There was no respite from the intense cold wave in Kashmir as the valley continued to reel under sub-zero temperatures with no improvement in the weather conditions over the next few days, officials said here on Wednesday.

A dry and snowless winter in Kashmir has resulted in freezing nights and warmer than usual days as Srinagar’s day temperatures were over eight degrees above the normal for this time of the year, they said.

Jammu, the winter capital of the union territory, has been colder than Srinagar for the past couple of days, recording a high of 9 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, which was nine degrees below the normal.

Jammu is currently under a cover of dense fog which has resulted in colder days. Srinagar city recorded a minimum temperature of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, same as the previous night, the officials said.

They said Qazigund recorded a low of minus 4.6 degrees against minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, while in the ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir it was minus 3.5 degrees Celsius, up from minus 5.0 degrees Celsius recorded the previous night.

Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 6.3 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in Kokernag town settled at minus 2.4 degrees Celsius while it was minus 5.3 degrees Celsius in Kupwara.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chilla-i-Kalan', a 40-day harsh winter period, when a cold wave sweeps the region and temperatures drop considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies as well as water in pipes.

The chances of snowfall are the highest during this period and most areas, particularly the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

Kashmir has been going through a prolonged dry spell and a 79 per cent deficit in rainfall was recorded for December while there has been no precipitation in the first week of January.

There has been no snowfall in most plain areas of Kashmir, while the upper reaches of the valley have received lesser than usual amounts of snow.

The meteorological department has forecast mainly dry weather till January 12.

'Chilla-i-Kalan' will end on January 31. However, the cold conditions will continue after that with a 20-day 'Chilla-i-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day 'Chilla-i-Bachha' (baby cold).

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(Published 11 January 2024, 08:03 IST)

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