Mercury soars in Srinagar



Srinagar: In what is "sweltering heat" for the locals but "unbelievably pleasant weather" to the tourists, the maximum temperature in Jammu and Kashmir's summer capital Srinagar has been soaring lately -- up to eight degrees above the average.

"The maximum temperature on Wednesday was 32.2 degrees Celsius in Srinagar city. It was 32.3 degrees on Monday which is the highest so far this year. For the last three days, the maximum temperature has been eight degrees above average," Sonam Lotus, director of the local weather office, told a news agency.

Srinagar saw its hottest day on May 24, 1968 when the maximum temperature shot up to 36.4 degrees Celsius.

Lotus, however, said a feeble western disturbance, which is presently active over the state, would result in a slight drop in the maximum temperature.

He said a study carried out by the meteorological office has shown an upward trend in temperatures in the valley since 1990. "This is because of urbanisation, release of carbon-dioxide and carbon products, besides global warming."

Understandably, demand for ice creams, cold drinks, watermelons, lemons and other cooling fruits has increased.

"There is a heavy customer rush at my shop and most of these are the local youth. Ice creams, milk shakes and carbonated drinks are in great demand," said Hilal Ahmad, owner of a local ice-cream parlour here.

However, for the tourists visiting the valley, it's just the perfect weather.

"The weather could not be better. We went around the Mughal Gardens on Wednesday and it was a great sight," said Sujit Kumar, a tourist from Punjab who has come here with his family.

He also visited north Kashmir's Gulmarg tourist resort Tuesday. "You may not believe it, we had to wear woollens in the evening at Gulmarg," he said.

IANS