The temperature plunged several degrees below freezing point across Jammu and Kashmir with Gulmarg and Pahalgam recording minus 11.5 and 11.6 degrees Celsius, respectively. Pahalgam and Gulmarg are witnessing record low minimum temperatures this winter, according to officials.
Pahalgam in south Kashmir Anantnag district serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra. Gulmarg is a famous skiing resort in the Baramulla district.
Officials said that this was the lowest minimum temperature of this year in the Valley. It was for the fourth straight night that the minimum temperature has fallen to minus 10 degrees Celsius or below.
Srinagar also recorded sub-zero temperature last night as mercury settled at minus 3.6 degrees Celsius. The city had recorded a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius the previous night.
In neighbouring Ladakh’s Leh, the minimum temperature was recorded at minus 13.9 degrees Celsius. Mercury at the automatic station in Kargil settled at minus 14.7 degrees Celsius. Drass, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, recorded a low of minus 27.2 degrees Celsius.
According to the MeT office, the weather is likely to stay mainly dry over the next few days in the Valley which is currently under the grip of the 40-day harshest winter period known as 'Chilla-i-Kalan' which began on December 21. 'Chilla-i-Kalan' is a period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies, including the famous Dal Lake, as well as the water supply lines in several parts. The 'Chilla-i-Kalan' will end on January 31, but 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).