Intense Cold Wave Persists, Dense Fog Disrupts Normal Life in Srinagar
Masroor Qayoom SRINAGAR, Dec 27: Kashmir Valley continued to reel under intense cold as dense fog disrupted early morning life for the third consecutive day in the region on Wednesday, officials said here.
A dense layer of fog engulfed Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, and visibility in the city was less than 50 metres, they said.
The transport department has issued an extensive advisory for motorists in the city driving through what they termed as one of the worst foggy conditions in recent memory.
Srinagar recorded a low of minus 2.6 degrees Celsius on Tuesday night, a slight increase from the previous night’s minus 3.0 degrees Celsius, they said.
Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, marginally up from the previous night’s minus 4.7 degrees Celsius, they said. It was the coldest recorded place in the Kashmir Valley.
Gulmarg, a famous ski resort in Baramulla, recorded a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, dropping slightly from previous night’s minus 2.4 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
Qazigund recorded a low of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius, Kokernag town saw the mercury settle at minus 2.2 degrees Celsius and Kupwara recorded a minimum of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius.
The Met department said the weather is likely to remain mainly dry till the end of the month. Foggy conditions are many towns of the Valley, including Srinagar.
The visibility in the city has reduced to less than 50 metres due to the fog cover. There was less than usual traffic on roads in the morning while vehicles were seen moving at low speeds due to the reduced visibility.
“The visibility in Srinagar at 8.30 am was less than 50 metres due to the fog cover. The motorists should drive carefully due to the low visibility,” an official of the local meteorological office said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ – the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably, leading to the freezing of water bodies, including the Dal Lake and the water supply lines, in several parts of the Valley.
The chances of snowfall are the highest during this period and most areas, especially the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.
’Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31. However, the cold conditions will continue after that with a 20-day-long ’Chilla-i-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ’Chilla-i-Bachha’ (baby cold).