Cold wave tightens grip on Jammu and Kashmir

The bone-chilling cold led to freezing of water taps and fringes of many water bodies including the famous Dal Lake.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 25, 2015, 13:45 PM IST

Srinagar: Cold wave tightened its grip further in Jammu and Kashmir as the minimum temperature at most places continued its downward spiral with Leh registering the season's lowest at minus 16.2 degrees Celsius.

The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.2 degrees Celsius, a drop of over a degree from the previous night's minus 4.0 degrees Celsius, according to a spokesman of the MET Department.

The bone-chilling cold led to freezing of water taps and fringes of many water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here.

The night temperature in Leh, in the frontier Ladakh region, went down by over three notches from the previous night's minus 12.9 degrees Celsius to settle at minus 16.2 degrees Celsius.

He said Leh was the coldest recorded place in the state.

The nearby Kargil town also shivered at a record low of minus 15.0 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said, adding the town had recorded a low of minus 14.5 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The spokesman said the mercury decreased by over two degrees at Qazigund the gateway town to the Valley and Kokernag also in south Kashmir - to settle at a low of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius and minus 3.7 degrees Celsius respectively.

The minimum temperature at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg was minus 10.2 degrees Celsius, while another tourist resort Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 8.0 degrees Celsius, he said.

He said the twin resorts witnessed a slight increase in the night temperature. Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 4. 2 degrees Celsius - almost similar to the previous night.

Kashmir Valley is currently under the grip of the 40-day harsh winter period known as 'Chillai-Kalan' which began on December 21 and during which the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum.

Though the Chillai-Kalan ends on January 31 next year, the cold wave usually continues even after that.

The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long

'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).