As cold wave further tightened its grip over Kashmir on Thursday, Srinagar witnessed the coldest December night in last 28-years as mercury plummeted to bone-chilling minus 7.6 degree Celsius.
A MeT Department official said it was the coldest after December 7, 1990, when the minimum temperature had dropped to minus 8.8 degree Celsius in the City. On December 31, 2007 Srinagar had recorded of minus 7.2 degree Celsius. The all-time low recorded in the month of December in Srinagar was minus 12.8 degrees Celsius on December 13, 1934.
Portions of the Dal Lake in Srinagar city and other water bodies had frozen in the peak of harshest 40-day period of winter, locally known as the ‘Chillai Kalan’. Dal Lake was completely frozen in 1965 when a jeep crossed the frozen surface from one end to another end. It was again frozen in 1986, when people played ice hockey and cricket besides taking photographs on the frozen surface.
People in some areas, particularly in the outskirts and Lake area, complained of water shortage as the tapes had frozen. People were seen trying to defreeze frozen taps by burning wood in the morning. People near banks were seen throwing stones and paper on the frozen parts of the lake.
The minimum temperature in Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir was slightly down to settle at minus 8.3 degrees Celsius from the previous night's minus 7.9 degrees, the official said. In ski resort of north Kashmir’s Gulmarg, the minimum night temperature settled at minus 9.0 degrees Celsius as compared to the previous night’s minus 9.4 degrees.
There was improvement in minimum temperature in Leh town in the frontier Ladakh region, where mercury settled at minus 8.4 degrees Celsius against previous night’s minus 17.1 degrees. Neighbouring Kargil town was the second coldest place in the state with a low of minus 16.2 degrees Celsius. Drass was the coldest recorded place in the state at bone chilling minus 20.6 degree Celsius.
The Met office has forecast dry weather during the next 24 hours till Friday morning with the likelihood of a further fall in night temperatures due to a partially cloudy sky.