Srinagar: There was relief from the intense cold conditions in Kashmir division, including Ladakh region, as the minimum temperatures rose by several degrees, staying above the freezing point at most places for the first time in about a month.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius, up by over three notches from the previous night's low of minus 3.1 degrees Celsius, a MeT department spokesperson said.
Leh, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 7.3 degrees Celsius, almost 7 degrees up from the previous night's minus 14.2 degrees, he said.
Kargil, also in Ladakh region, recorded a low of minus 10.0 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said, adding the town was the coldest recorded place in the state.
Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley in south, recorded a low of 0.3 degrees Celsius, an increase of over four degrees from minus 4.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The mercury in Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir, which serves as a base-camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, registered an increase of over six degrees from minus 4.8 degrees Celsius the previous night's to settle at a low of 2.2 degrees Celsius, the spokesperson said.
The minimum temperature in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg settled at minus 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to minus 0.6 degrees of the previous night's, he said.
The night temperatures in Kupwara, in north Kashmir, settled at a low of 0.9 degrees Celsius, up by four degrees from minus 3.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, he said.
Kokernag, in south Kashmir, recorded the minimum of 1.3 degrees Celsius - an increase of over three degrees from the previous night's low of minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, he said.
The MeT department has predicted light to moderate rain or snow at many places in the state.
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 which leads to increase in the night temperatures bringing respite from the cold wave conditions, which otherwise intensify due to dry weather in winters.
However, even after more than half of the 'Chillai-Kalan' has passed, there has been no end to the dry weather and the rise in temperatures has raised possibility of breaking the prevailing dry spell.
Though 'Chillai-Kalan' would end on January 31, the 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).