SRINAGAR, Jan 1: Kashmir ushered in the New Year on a dry note even as the cold wave intensified in the valley with the minimum temperature plunging two to three degrees further below the freezing point, officials said on Monday.
There has been no snowfall in most plain area of Kashmir while upper reaches of the valley have also received lesser than usual amount of snow by the end of December.
The open skies have resulted in the minimum temperature sliding further in most parts, including Srinagar, the officials said.
The minimum temperature dropped in the summer capital of Srinagar to minus 5.2 degrees Celsius from the previous night’s minus 3.4 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 5.7 degrees Celsius, down from the previous night’s minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, they said.
Qazigund recorded a low of minus 3.6 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag town saw the minimum settle at minus 1.7 degrees Celsius and Kupwara recorded a minimum of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius.
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 as well as 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’