Big freeze grips Kashmir, Srinagar records season’s coldest day 

Parts of Dal Lake and other water bodies besides residential water supply pipes froze over as severe winter conditions gripped Kashmir with this summer capital of the state recording season’s coldest day on Wednesday.

A meteorological department official told GNS said that Srinagar recorded maximum temperature of 3.7 degrees Celsius, five degrees below the normal for this time of the year and lowest for the season so far. He said night temperature plunged to minus 6.7 degree Celsius in capital last night and was just a notch below from Monday’s minus 6.8 degrees Celsius, the coldest December night in 11-years.

The official said Qazigund recorded maximum of 6.0 degrees Celsius (below 3 degrees from normal) and low of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag registered a low of minus 5.4 and maximum of 4.6 degrees Celsius.

The night temperature in Pahalgam, also in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 7.9 degrees Celsius while it had a maximum of 3.7 degrees Celsius against 6.4 degrees Celsius for the day.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.

‘Chillai-Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir.

The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).

The ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded the minimum temperature of minus 9.4 degrees Celsius and was the coldest place in the Valley even as day temperature dropped to 2 degrees Celsius, he said.

Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius down from minus 5.2 degrees Celsius on previous night while as it had the maximum of 3.5 degrees Celsius, he said. (GNS)

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