Intense cold continues to grip Kashmir, Pahalgam freezes at minus 9.4°C

Intense cold conditions continued unabated in Kashmir Valley as minimum temperature dropped to minus 9.4°C in Pahalgam on Wednesday.

A meteorological department official said that Srinagar recorded a low of minus 5.2°C against last night’s minus 4.4°C. Today’s minimum temperature was 3.1°C below normal for the summer capital, the official said.

Srinagar has so far seen the coldest temperature this season on 25 December when mercury plummeted to minus 5.8°C.

Qazigund recorded a low of minus 5.2°C against minus 5.0°C on the previous night. The temperature was 2.1°C below normal for the gateway town of Kashmir, he said.

Pahalgam, he said, recorded a low of minus 9.4°C against minus 7.2°C on the previous night. The coldest night recorded this season in the famous tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district was on January 2 when mercury plunged to minus 9.6°C, he said.

Today’s minimum temperature was 2.8°C below normal for the place, he said.

Kokernag recorded a low of minus 3.8°C against minus 4.1°C on the previous night, he said. It was 0.3°C below normal for the place, he said.

Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 8.4°C against minus 9.2°C on the previous night, the official said. It was 1.4°C below normal for the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district which recorded its coldest night on January 2 when minimum temperature plummeted to minus 10.0°C, the official said.

In Kupwara town, the mercury settled at minus 6.0°C against minus 4.1°C on the previous night in the north Kashmir area, he said. The official said that the temperature was 3.5°C below normal.

Jammu recorded a low of 4.5°C against 3.6°C on the previous night. It was 2.8°C below normal for J&K’s winter capital, he said.

Banihal recorded a low of 2.4°C (above normal by 0.2°C), Batote 2.0°C (normal), Katra 4.9°C (1.4°C below normal) and Bhadarwah Minus 1.2°C (0.7°C below normal).

In Ladakh, Leh and Kargil recorded a low of minus 15.4°C and minus 18.7°C respectively, the official said.

Kashmir is under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day long harsh winter period that started on December 21. It does not mean an end to the winter either. It is followed by a 20-day-long period called ‘Chillai-Khurd’ that occurs between January 30 and February 19 and a 10-day-long period ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold) which is from February 20 to March 1.