Srinagar: Srinagar — the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir — recorded the coldest night in 11 years as the minimum temperature plunged to minus 6.8 degrees Celsius, resulting in partial freezing of the Dal Lake and water supply lines to residential areas on Monday.
The all-time low recorded in the month of December in Srinagar is minus 12.8 degrees Celsius on December 13, 1934.
“Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius. This is the coldest recorded temperature in the city in almost 11 years. The city had registered a low of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius on December 31, 2007,” an official of the MET department told PTI on Monday.
The cold wave resulted in the freezing of some water bodies, including the fringes of the famous Dal Lake here, and residential water supply pipes.
The official said Qazigund the gateway town to the valley – in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 3.9 degrees Celsius on Sunday night.
Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, he said.
The night temperature in Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, the official said, adding the resort was colder than Gulmarg and the coldest place in the valley.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded the minimum temperature of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius, he said.
The official said Leh recorded a low of minus 14.7 degrees Celsius on Sunday night down from minus 14.3 degrees Celsius the previous night which was the coldest night of the season in the frontier town.
The nearby Kargil recorded a low of minus 15.3 degrees Celsius, they added.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
‘Chillai-Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir.
The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
However, the winter this season has been dry so far, although there was a spell of early snowfall in the valley in the first and second week of November.
The prolonged dry spell has resulted in an increase in common ailments like cough, cold and other respiratory problems, especially among children and elderly.
The MET Office has forecast mainly dry weather till Wednesday.