Kashmir reels under freezing weather as mercury plunges to minus 5.5C



Mercury continued its free fall in Kashmir division with most places recording this season’s lowest minimum temperature on Thursday, the second day of ‘Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day severe period of winter.

Quoting a meteorological department official, GNS reported that Srinagar recorded a low of minus 5.5°C against 4.2°C on the previous night. Besides being the coldest lowest temperature this season, the mercury was 3.5°C below normal during this time of the year, the official said.

Qazigund recorded a low of minus 4.4°C against minus 4.2°C on the previous night. The temperature was 2.4°C below normal for the gateway town of Kashmir, he said.

Pahalgam, he said, recorded a low of minus 6.8°C against minus 6.2°C on the previous night. Apart from being below normal by 1.8°C, it was also the coldest night this season in the famous tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Kokernag also hit the season’s coldest temperature, recording a low of minus 3.3°C against minus 2.4°C on the previous night, he said. It was 1.2°C below normal for the place, he said.

Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 5.2°C against minus 4.6°C on the previous night, the official said. It was 0.6°C above normal for the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the official said.

In Kupwara town, the mercury settled at minus 5.1°C against minus 4.4°C on the previous night, the official said. While being 2.5°C below normal, it was also the coldest temperature recorded so far in the north Kashmir area, he said.

Jammu recorded a low of 7.5°C against 6.3°C on the previous night. It was 0.7°C below normal for J&K’s winter capital, he said. Banihal recorded a low of minus 1.2°C against last night’s 2.0°C (overall below normal by 2.1°C), Batote 1.1°C (2.1°C below normal), Katra 5.6°C (1.3°C below normal) and Bhadarwah minus 0.9°C (0.4°C below normal).

In Ladakh, Leh and Kargil recorded a low of minus 12.0°C and 12.8 °C respectively, the official said. MeT said that there will be mainly dry weather till December 25.

“From 26-30th generally cloudy sky with intermittent light to moderate snow is expected at scattered places of Kashmir, higher reaches of Jammu and light rain in plains of Jammu (60℅chance),” the MeT official said, “Snowfall and below freezing temperature may lead to temporary disruption of surface transportation on places like Mughal road, Zojila, Karna, Sadna top etc during 26-27th, although there’s no forecast of any Major snow spell.” —GK