Srinagar: The severe cold wave gripping the Kashmir Valley sent temperatures tumbling as the mercury plummeted to minus 8.8°C in Srinagar, the lowest temperature of the season so far and the coldest January night in the past 30 years.
Quoting an official from meteorological department, GNS reported that at minus 8.8°C, the mercury in Srinagar was more than eight degrees below normal (minus 1.0°C) for this time of the season. On previous night, Srinagar recorded minus 7.2°C.
The minimum temperatures have consistently remained far below normal this season. On January 14, Srinagar recorded minus 8.4°C. On 20 January 1991, Srinagar witnessed a low of minus 11.8°C while the lowest ever temperature was recorded on 31 January 1893 when the mercury had plummeted to minus 14.4 degrees Celsius. In between, the official said, the mercury had dropped to minus 9.0°C on 11 January 1986.
“In last 38 years, there has been 17 occasions when Srinagar recorded minus 8 degrees Celsius or less of which 1991 remained the coldest and harshest winter with prolonged cold spell of nine days.”
The minimum temperature also remained far below the normal temperature in other parts of the Valley, the official said.
The mercury settled at minus 12.0°C in Pahalgam against minus 12.5°C on the previous night.
Qazigund, the gateway town of J&K, recorded a low of minus 10.2°C against minus 8.8°C on the previous night while Kokernag recorded a minimum of minus 12.4°C against minus 10.9°C on the earlier night.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 8.0°C against minus 10.0°C earlier night, the official added.
The mercury settled at minus 2.3°C in Kupwara against minus 3.7°C on the previous night.
‘Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day long harshest winter period which commenced on December 21, has ended. The period is considered the harshest of the winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum.
This season there have been already at least two spells of considerable snowfall. The cold wave, however, continues even after that in Kashmir.
The weatherman has forecast cloudy weather from tomorrow morning. The official said, “night temperatures will definitely improve by few notches.”
“A feeble western disturbance is likely to cause isolated to scattered precipitation during 1-3rd February, due to which we expect a gradual rise in Minimum Temperature from tomorrow.” (GNS)
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