Cold wave to continue till Jan 21

As Kashmir continues to reel under intense cold wave, it is for the first time in the last almost three decades that summer capital Srinagar recorded minimum temperatures below minus 7 degrees Celsius during five consecutive nights.

According to the data of the Meteorological Department, last time the temperature had plummeted to as low as minus 7 degrees for several days was in January 1991.

While Srinagar on Saturday night recorded minus 7.6 degrees Celsius, the Meteorological Department forecast has said that the prevailing cold wave “will continue till January 21 after which the Valley is likely to receive a wet spell”.

It may be recollected that during the intervening night of January 12 and 13 the mercury in Srinagar had plummeted to minus 7.8 degrees Celsius. However, during January 13 and 14 the minimum temperature was recorded at 8.4 degrees Celsius, making it the coldest recorded night in the last 29 years.

Due to sub-zero temperatures, parts of Dal Lake and several other water bodies in Kashmir have frozen. With no respite from the bone-chilling cold, water supply lines continue to freeze, affecting day to day life.

The rest of the Valley also continues to reel under the cold wave as ski-resort Gulmarg in Baramulla recorded minimum temperatures at minus 4.2 degrees Celsius while Pahalgam in south Kashmir recorded minus 8.7 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

As per available MeT data, Qazigund recorded the minimum temperature at minus 9 degrees Celsius, making it the coldest recorded station in the Valley; Kokernag minus 8.7 degrees; and Kupwara minus 6.2 degrees on Saturday night.

In the latest forecast issued here, Director MeT, Sonam Lotus said, “A Western Disturbance is most likely to affect J&K and Ladakh between the evening of January 22 and forenoon of January 25”.

However, he said that “precipitation of lower intensity is expected during this period, as compared to the previous wet spell”.