Srinagar: Leh experienced the coldest night of this winter with the minimum temperature there settling around 15 degrees Celsius below the freezing point, as the mercury continued its downward trend in Kashmir valley and Ladakh region.
Leh town, in the frontier Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 15.2 degrees Celsius last night, against minus 13.8 degrees Celsius of the previous night, an official of the MeT department here said.
It was the season's lowest night temperature in the town, which was the coldest recorded place in the state last night.
The official said Srinagar city, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 3.6 degrees Celsius last night, while the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius a degree down from the previous night.
Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 1.9 degrees Celsius a drop of 1.5 degrees from yesterday, the official said.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius last night, he said.
He said the mercury at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius up from the previous night's minus 6.6 degrees Celsius.
The resort was the only place where the night temperature increased last night.
The night temperature in Pahalgam - the famous health resort which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra recorded a low of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius compared to yesterday's minus 5.5 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' - a 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum, and the temperature drops considerably.
It ends on January 31 next year, but the cold wave continues even after that in the valley.
The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai- Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).
The MeT Office has forecast mainly dry weather in Kashmir till January 3, after which it said there are chances of isolated to scattered rainfall or snowfall over the valley.