Cold conditions prevailed in Kashmir as the minimum temperature remained below the freezing point across the valley on Tuesday, even as the MET Office said the weather is likely to remain dry and cold till the weekend when a spell of light to moderate snowfall is possible at widespread places.
The weather remained dry across Kashmir on the second day of 'Chillai-Kalan' -- the 40-day harshest winter period when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum, officials said.
They said while the valley continued to reel under sub-zero night temperature, there was a slight improvement in the mercury at a few places.
Srinagar — the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir — recorded a low of minus 5.2 degrees Celsius – down from the previous night's minus 4 degrees Celsius, they said.
The mercury in Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir also went down from the previous night's low of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius to settle at a low of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
They said Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius – up from Monday's minus 6.4 degrees Celsius.
Qazigund – the gateway town to the valley – recorded the minimum of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in the north, registered a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius and Kokernag, in the south, minus 3.6 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
'Chillai-Kalan' is considered the harshest winter period in Kashmir as 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 most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall, the officials said.
While 'Chillai-Kalan' will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day-long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).
The MET Office has said except for light to moderate snowfall in some areas in the higher reaches of Kashmir, the weather is likely to remain dry and cold till December 26 forenoon.
“A spell of light to moderate snowfall at widespread places in the valley is likely from the evening of December 26 to the night of 27,” the MET Office said.