Srinagar: The bone-chilling cold returned as the night temperature plunged below the freezing point across Kashmir division after a brief respite owing to the rains in plains and snowfall in high altitude areas early this week.
The night temperature fell below the freezing point across the Valley after the four-day respite owing to cloud cover, a spokesman of the MeT office said.
The spokesperson said Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, registered a dip of nearly three degrees in the night temperature which settled at minus 2.3 degrees after remaining above the freezing point for the past four nights. Yesterday, the city had recorded a low of 0.5 degree Celsius.
Kargil in frontier region of Ladakh was the coldest recorded place in the state with a low of minus 11.0 degree Celsius - down by nearly one degree.
He said Leh town, also in Ladakh region, recorded a minimum of minus 10.0 degree Celsius against the previous night's minus 8.3 degree Celsius.
The famous ski resort of Gulmarg, the star attraction for tourists during winters, was the coldest recorded place in the Valley with a minimum of minus 6.2 degree Celsius - up by 1.2 degrees against the previous night, the spokesman said.
The north Kashmir hill resort along with other high altitude areas experienced snowfall on Tuesday ending a long dry spell.
The plains including Srinagar were also lashed by intermittent rains the same day, much to the relief of people.
Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley in south, recorded a dip of three degrees as the night temperature settled at minus 3.8 degree Celsius.
The mercury in south Kashmir hill resort of Pahalgam, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, registered a drop of two degrees from the previous night's low of minus 3.6 degree Celsius to settle at minus 5.6 degrees, the spokesperson said.
The night temperature in Kupwara, in north Kashmir, settled at a low of 3.5 degree Celsius, while Kokernag, in south, registered the minimum of minus 0.7 degree Celsius, the spokesman said.
Kashmir Valley is currently under the grip of 'Chillai- Kalan' -- the 40-day harshest winter period - which began on December 21. The chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent during this period.
Though 'Chillai-Kalan' would end on January 31, winter continues after that. The 40-day period would be followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai Bachha' (baby cold).
The MeT department has predicted dry and cold weather over the state during the next few days but predicted snowfall and rains under the influence of fresh western disturbance likely to hit the state January 20 onwards.