Cold conditions intensified in Kashmir as the minimum temperature dropped at most places in the valley on Friday.
The weather office has forecast the possibility of light rain and snow over a few days from Saturday.
The night temperature dropped across Kashmir, except in Gulmarg, MET officials said.
The weather has remained dry and cold across Kashmir since the snowfall on December 12, with the night temperature staying several degrees below the freezing point, they said.
The officials said Srinagar — the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir — recorded a low of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius, down from the previous night’s minus 3.8 degrees Celsius.
They said the mercury in Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir went down from the previous night’s low of minus 5.2 degrees Celsius to settle at minus 5.9 degrees Celsius.
The resort was the coldest recorded place in the valley.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, same as on Wednesday night, the officials said.
Qazigund — the gateway town to the valley — recorded a minimum of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in the north, registered a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius and Kokernag, in the south, minus 3.3 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
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 famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.
The chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall, the officials said.
While ‘Chillai-Kalan’ which began on December 21 — will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
The MET Office has said there is a possibility of light rains and snowfall in the valley for a few days from Saturday.
There is no forecast of any major snowfall activity till the end of this month, it added.