old condition intensified in Kashmir with most parts of the valley witnessing a dip in their minimum temperatures on Wednesday. The weather has remained dry and cold across Kashmir since it snowed on December 12, with the night temperature staying several degrees below the freezing point, a meteorological department official said.The weather department has forecast that the cold and dry weather would continue till Christmas Day.The Valley continued to reel under sub-zero night temperatures on Wednesday as well, even though there was a slight improvement in the mercury at most places. Srinagar — the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir — recorded a low of minus 5 degrees Celsius, slightly up from the previous night”s minus 5.2 degrees Celsius. The mercury in Pahalgam in south Kashmir went down from the previous night”s low of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius to settle at minus 6.6 degrees Celsius, officials said. It was the coldest recorded place in the Valley. They said Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 6 degrees Celsius, slightly down from Tuesday”s minus 5.8 degrees Celsius.Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, recorded a minimum of minus 4 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in the north registered a low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius and Kokernag, in the south, minus 4.0 degrees Celsius, the weather department officials said. Chillai-Kalan” — the 40-day harshest winter period when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum — began in Kashmir on Monday. Cold wave grips the region during this period and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley. While ”Chillai-Kalan” 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 meteorological department has said the weather is likely to remain mainly dry till December 25, but there is a possibility of light snow on higher reaches during December 26 and 27. There is no forecast of any major snowfall activity till the end of this month, it added.