Kashmir areas record season’s coldest night as Chillai-Kalan begins

Srinagar shivers at minus 4.2°C, Banihal records minus 2.0°C
Kashmir braces for the 40-day long Chillai Kalan, the harshest spell of cold in winter.
Kashmir braces for the 40-day long Chillai Kalan, the harshest spell of cold in winter.Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK

Srinagar, Dec 21: ‘Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day severe period of winter, started on a harsh note on Wednesday with minimum temperatures plummeting to the season’s lowest in several places in Kashmir Valley including Srinagar which recorded a low of minus 4.2°C.

Quoting a meteorological department official, GNS reported that the minimum temperature in Srinagar was 1.1°C below the previous night’s minus 3.1°C. Overall, he said, the mercury was 2.7°C below normal during this time of the year and surpassed this season’s previous lowest of minus 3.6°C that was recorded in the summer capital on Friday last, the official said.

Qazigund recorded a low of minus 4.2°C against minus 3.6°C on the previous night. The temperature was 2.6°C below normal for the gateway town of Kashmir, he said.

Pahalgam, he said, recorded a low of minus 6.2°C against minus 5.4°C on the previous night. Besides being below normal by 1.8°C, it was also the coldest night this season in the famous tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Kokernag recorded a low of minus 2.4°C against minus 1.8°C on the previous night and it was 0.7°C below normal for the place, he said.

Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 4.6°C against minus 4.0°C on the previous night, the official said. It was 0.2°C above normal for the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. 

In Kupwara town, the mercury settled at minus 4.4°C against minus 3.9°C on the previous night, the official said. While being 2.0°C below normal, it was also the coldest temperature recorded so far in the north Kashmir place, he said.

Jammu recorded a low of 6.3°C against 6.7°C on the previous night. It was 2.6°C below normal for J&K’s winter capital, he said. Banihal recorded a low of minus 2.0°C (below normal by 3.5°C and this season’s coldest), Batote 1.2°C (2.2°C below normal), Katra 6.8°C (0.8°C below normal) and Bhadarwah 0.6°C (1.0°C below normal).

In Ladakh, Leh and Kargil recorded a low of minus 11.8°C and minus 12.1°C respectively, the official said.

“The weather is expected to be dry till December 25,” the official said. 

“The weather is mostly likely to be cloudy with chances of light to moderate rain/snow over isolated places of Jammu to scattered places of Kashmir specifically over middle and higher reaches during the last few days of 2022.”

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