Srinagar: The deep freeze in Kashmir Valley showed no signs of relenting on Friday even as a thick layer of fog engulfed Srinagar.
Quoting a meteorological department official, GNS reported that Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of minus 7.6°C, an increase of nearly one degree from the previous night’s minus 8.4°C — the coldest temperature recorded after 25 years.
On January 13, Srinagar had recorded a low of minus 7.8°C, which was same as recorded eight years ago on January 14, 2012. In 1991, the Srinagar witnessed a low of minus 11.8°C while the lowest ever temperature was recorded on January 31, 1893, when the mercury had gone down to minus 14.4°C.
Reports suggest that the Dal Lake and other water bodies have frozen further. Social media is abuzz with pictures and videos of some boys and youth walking or playing on the Dal even as authorities have warned against such risky adventures.
Also, a thick layer of fog engulfed many areas in the Valley, including Srinagar, causing traffic disruptions.
Meanwhile, the minimum temperatures continued far below the normal in other parts of the Valley, settling at minus 8.6°C in Pahalgam against minus 11.1°C on the previous night.
Qazigund, the gateway town of J&K, recorded a low of minus 8.3°C against 10.0°C on the previous night. Kokernag recorded a low of minus 8.4°C against minus 10.3°C on the earlier night.
Against minus 6.7°C on the previous night in Kupwara, the mercury settled at minus 5.7°C in the north Kashmir district, officials said. Gulmarg, the world-famous skiing resort, recorded a low of minus 5.7°C against minus 7.0°C on the earlier night.
Leh recorded a low of minus 11.6°C against previous night’s minus 14.0°C, Kargil recorded minus 17.6°C against minus 19.6°C on the night earlier while Drass was coldest at minus 25.3°C.
Kashmir is in the middle of Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day winter period which commenced on December 21 and ends on January 31. The period is considered the harshest of the winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum.
The cold wave, however, continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold). Kashmir Valley received heavy snowfall earlier this month, disrupting normal life.
The weatherman has forecast “mainly dry weather with morning fog/mist at isolated places of Kashmir Valley and plains of Jammu division” in the next 24 hours and “no significant change” till January 20. (GNS)
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