Intense cold wave hits Kashmir
New Delhi, Jan 25: Cold-wave conditions intensified in Kashmir on Monday as the minimum temperature dipped at most places following snowfall over the weekend, officials said.
Srinagar recorded a low of minus 5.2 degrees Celsius, down from minus 1.9 degrees Celsius the previous night. Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, recorded a minimum of minus 5.5 degrees Celsius, down from minus 3.0 degrees the previous night, the officials said.
The minimum temperature at the Gulmarg in north Kashmir's Baramulla district settled at minus 11.5 degrees Celsius, down from minus 11.0 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 11.9 degrees Celsius, slightly up from the previous night's minus 12.0 degrees Celsius. Kupwara recorded a low of minus 3.1 degrees Celsius, while it was minus 8.4 degrees Celsius in Kokernag.
South 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 Dal Lake, as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the Valley.
The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.
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).