Free fall of mercury on in J&K, Ladakh

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Minimum temperatures in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh remained under free fall on Thursday as the weather office forecast another spell of rain and snow on January 4 and 5.

“As of today, weather most likely to remain mainly dry and cold in both the UTs till January 3 (Sunday).

“Thereafter a spell of light to moderate snowfall is likely during January 4 and 5 at many places of Kashmir, few places of hilly areas of Jammu, Zojila, Drass and hilly areas of Zanskar and Leh district.

“Except for the above spell, there is no forecast of any major snowfall till next 10 days from today,” Sonam Lotus, director of the MET department said.

The ongoing 40-day long period of harsh winter called the ‘Chillai Kalan’ has already pushed down the minimum temperatures several notches below the freezing point in Kashmir and Ladakh.

Srinagar was at minus 5.9, Pahalgam minus 9.6 and Gulmarg minus 10.4 degrees Celsius — their minimum temperatures for the day.

Leh town of Ladakh recorded minus 18.3, Kargil minus 18.5 and Drass minus 28.3 as the minimum temperatures.

Jammu city had 2.8, Katra 3.7, Batote 0.3, Bannihal 1.4 and Bhaderwah minus 4.4 as the night’s lowest temperatures.