Srinagar, Jan 11: As Kashmir valley braces for season’s first major snowfall, the minimum temperature recorded an increase with mercury settling above sub-zero level at most places barring Gulmarg and Pahalgam on Wednesday. Also higher reaches received fresh snowfall with Gulmarg receiving 6 cms of it in the 24 hours till 0830 hours today, a meteorological department official here said. He said Srinagar, Pahalgam and Kupwara received light rainfall of 0.3mm, 1.1mm and 3.6mm respectively during the time.
Meanwhile, he said, Srinagar recorded a low of 3.5°C against last night’s 1.8°C. Today’s minimum temperature was 5.6°C above normal for the summer capital, he said.
Qazigund, he said, recorded a low of 1.6°C against minus 0.8°C. Today’s minimum temperature was 4.6°C above normal for the gateway town, he said.
Pahalgam, he said, recorded a low of minus 0.3°C against minus 3.2°C on the previous night. Today’s minimum temperature was 6.8°C above normal for the place, he said. The coldest night recorded this season in the famous tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district was on January 2 when mercury plunged to minus 9.6°C.
Kokernag recorded a low of 0.7°C against minus 3.6°C on the previous night, he said. It was 4.3°C above normal for the place.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 3.0°C against minus 4.4°C on the previous night, the official said. It was 4.9°C above normal for the world famous skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district that saw its coldest night this season on January 2 when minimum temperature plummeted to minus 10.0°C, the official said.
In Kupwara town, the mercury settled at 1.5°C against 2.9°C on the previous night in the north Kashmir area, he said. The official said that the temperature was 4.4°C above normal.
Jammu recorded a low of 8.0°C against 6.6°C on the previous night. It was 1.0°C above normal for J&K’s winter capital, he said.
Banihal recorded a low of 4.9°C (above normal by 5.0°C), Batote a low of 6.6°C (above normal by 5.0°C), Katra 10.1°C (4.2°C above normal) and Bhadarwah 6.6°C (7.7°C above normal).
In Ladakh, Leh and Kargil recorded a low of minus 7.2°C and minus 7.4°C respectively, the official said.
“From January 11-13th, widespread moderate snowfall/(rain in plains of Jammu) with heavy snowfall over higher reaches with main activity expected during 11th evening-12th (>75% chance),” the meteorological department official said, adding, “The weather system is very likely to affect surface transportation (major Highways, Sinthantop, Sadna Top, Gurez-Bandipora etc. during 11-12th & Air transportation on 12th(60-70% chance). The weather system, he said, may affect Power Supply.
Kashmir is under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day long harsh winter period that started on December 21. It does not mean an end to the winter either. It is followed by a 20-day-long period called ‘Chillai-Khurd’ that occurs between January 30 and February 19 and a 10-day-long period ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold) which is from February 20 to March 1.