Picture By Zargar Zahoor
Srinagar, Dec 18: Cold conditions intensified in J&K and Ladakh as Srinagar experienced the coldest night of the season so far at minus 6.0°C on Saturday.
A meteorological department official here said that the mercury in the summer capital was down from previous night’s minus 3.8°C by minus 2.2°C and overall it was below minus 4.5°C than the normal for this time of the year.
Barring last year, it is for the first time in last decade that mercury has plunged to minus 6.0°C or more before the onset of the Chillai-e-Kalan, the 40-day long chilliest part of the season, starting on December 21. In last ten years, it has been four occasions when the mercury fell to minus 6.0°C or above in Srinagar.
On 19 December 2020, the mercury had plummeted to minus 6.6°C while as lowest in month of December was recorded on 30th day in 2019 at 6.6°C. In last ten years, the lowest was recorded 25 December 2017 when mercury plunged to minus 7.7°C. The lowest ever temperature in December was recorded on 13th of 1934 when mercury fell to minus 12.8°C.
Meanwhile, the mercury in the world famous resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district settled at minus 8.5°C, up by 0.1°C the previous night, the official said.
Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, had a low of minus 6.0°C against minus 3.2°C on the previous night, he said.
Pahalgam, the famous resort in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 8.3°C against minus 5.6°C on previous night.
Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 5.1°C against minus 3.5°C on previous night, the official said.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir recorded a minimum of minus 6.1°C against minus 4.4°C on the previous night, the official said.
Jammu, the J&K’s winter capital, saw a low of 2.3°C which is minus 6.6°C below normal, he said.
Ladakh’s Leh had a low of minus 15.3°C against last night’s minus 14.2°C while automatic Kargil station recorded minimum of minus 13.1°C. Drass in Kargil, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, recorded a low of minus 19.7°C, the official said.
The weatherman has forecast widespread “moderate to heavy” snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from December 23 to 25. “As on date, widespread moderate to heavy snowfall (at some places) is most likely during 23-25th December. We are in for a White X-Mas (Christmas ) in both J&K and Ladakh,” he said.
For next few days, the night temperature is likely to fall further, the officials added.