After the heavy snowfall received on January 3 and 4, Kashmir continues to be under a severe cold wave. The Meteorological Department has said that another spell of light to moderate snowfall was likely between January 18 and 19.
The day temperature in summer capital Srinagar on Monday was recorded at 4.1 degrees Celsius. Even as there was some improvement witnessed in the minimum temperature on Sunday night, recorded in Srinagar at minus 0.2 degrees Celsius, but several water bodies including parts of Dal Lake were frozen. The ski-resort Gulmarg in Baramulla recorded minus 9.6 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, making it the coldest recorded station in the Valley. Pahalgam in south Kashmir recorded minus 4.6 degrees Celsius.
Director MeT, Sonam Lotus, said a light to moderate spell of snowfall was likely in the Valley next week between January 18 and 19.
“There is a possibility of a wet spell during which we may have a light to moderate snowfall in parts of Kashmir during January 18 and 19,” Lotus said. As per MeT, strong cold wave conditions are likely to persist for the next few days.
Meanwhile, the J&K Disaster Management Authority has issued a low-level (yellow alert) avalanche warning for upper reaches of Kupwara and Bandipora districts.
The administration has been under criticism for slow snow clearance from the roads. A heavy snowfall from January 3 to 6 had thrown normal life out of gear and snapped both surface and air traffic from the Valley for four consecutive days. Other essential services including power supply had also been affected due to the heavy snowfall.
Presently, Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-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 most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.