Srinagar: “Chillai-kalan”, the harshest 40-day winter period in Kashmir, ended on Sunday, breaking a decades-old record as Srinagar registered its lowest minimum temperature in 30 years, officials said.
Srinagar city, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 8.8 degrees Celsius on Saturday night — down from minus 7.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, they added.
This was the lowest minimum temperature recorded in the city since 1991, when the mercury had fallen to minus 11.4 degrees Celsius.
Srinagar had recorded a low of minus 8.4 degrees Celsius on January 13.
Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius, down from minus 8.8 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.
The minimum temperature in the ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district settled at minus eight degrees Celsius — up from the previous night’s minus 10.0 degrees Celsius.
The Pahalgam tourist resort, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 12 degrees Celsius — marginally up from the previous night’s minus 12.5 degrees Celsius.
Kupwara recorded a low of minus 4.7 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag in the south registered a minimum temperature of 13.1 degrees Celsius.
The extreme cold conditions have resulted in the freezing of waterbodies and drinking water supply lines in several areas of the valley.
“Chillai-Kalan” officially ended on Sunday but there is little respite in store for the residents of Kashmir as the minimum temperatures are expected to remain below the freezing point for the next couple of days.
The weatherman has forecast the possibility of a western disturbance hitting the valley on February 2.
The cold wave will continue even after “Chillai-Kalan” in Kashmir with a 20-day-long “Chillai-Khurd” (small cold) and a 10-day-long “Chillai-Bachha” (baby cold).