Delhi's temperature dipped to a minimum of 3 degree Celsius on Saturday making it the coldest day of the season so far. Several areas of the national capital also witnessed fog early in the morning. Cold wave from the neighbouring mountainous states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh has added to chill.
In Kashmir, the 40-day harshest winter period, known in the local parlance as 'Chillai-Kalan', began on a dry note on Friday, even as cold wave conditions continue to prevail in the Valley and Ladakh region as the minimum temperature settled several notches below the freezing point.
'Chillai-Kalan' - a harsh winter period when the snowfalls are most frequent and maximum temperatures drop considerably - marked its beginning in Kashmir on Friday, MET department officials said.
The 'Chillai-Kalan' period ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).
The officials said while the weather remained dry across Kashmir, temperatures dipped at most places last night and settled several notches below the freezing point.
The minimum temperature last night was also several points below the normal for this part of the season in the Valley, they said.
Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – was the only place in the valley where the night temperature rose last night.
The city recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius on Thursday night compared to minus 4.9 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said. They said the minimum temperature in the city was around three notches below the normal for this time of the season.
The officials said Qazigund – the gateway town to the Valley - in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.7 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius last night.
Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius last night.
The night temperature in Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius last night – down from the previous night's minus 6.8 degrees Celsius.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a minimum temperature of minus 6.0 degrees Celsius last night – down from the previous night's minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
The nearby Kargil registered the minimum temperature of minus 15.1 degrees Celsius on Thursday night.
(With inputs from PTI)