Cloudy weather likely in Kashmir

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Srinagar: The minimum temperature in most parts of Kashmir stayed close to freezing point under the influence of a mild Western Disturbance that has resulted in snowfall in upper reaches of the valley, officials said on Tuesday.

The minimum in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, settled at a low of 1.1 degrees Celsius, almost same as the previous night’s 1 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

Gulmarg, the famous skiing resort in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 6 degrees Celsius, down 1.4 degrees from the previous night.

Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 0.7 degrees Celsius three degrees up from the previous night, they said.

The officials said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded a minimum of 0.2 degrees Celsius, while the nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.6 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius.

The MET Office has said under the influence of a feeble Western Disturbance, the weather is most likely to remain generally cloudy with possibility of very light to light rain/snow in plains of J-K up to Wednesday and light to moderate snowfall over the higher reaches.

There is no forecast of any major rain or snow till the end of this month, it said.

Kashmir valley is currently under the grip of the 40-day harshest winter period known as ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ which began on December 21 last year.

‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ is a period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here 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 to very heavy snowfall.

The ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31, but 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). (PTI)