Leh recorded a minimum temperature of minus 16.8 degrees Celsius last night – a drop of over eight degrees from the previous night’s minus 8.3 degrees Celsius, an official of the Meteorological Department here said.
He said the town was the coldest recorded place in the state. The nearby Kargil town registered a low of minus 15 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said the famous health resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, registered a low of minus 13.8 degrees Celsius, down from the previous night’s minus 12.4 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said not only was the resort was the coldest recorded place in the Valley, it was the coldest night of the season there.
The minimum temperature at the resort was also a three-year low for the month of January.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, the star attraction for tourists visiting the Valley during winter, recorded a low of minus 11.8 degrees Celsius, against minus 12 degrees Celsius yesterday, he said.
He said Srinagar ? the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir ? recorded the minimum of minus 0.9 degrees Celsius ? an increase of over two degrees from the previous night’s minus 3.3 degrees Celsius.
The official said Qazigund ? the gateway town to Kashmir Valley ? in south registered a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag recorded a low of minus 3.3 degrees Celsius.
The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir dipped nearly three degrees from the yesterday’s low of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius to settle at a low of minus 4.7 degrees Celsius, he said.
Kashmir is currently in the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – considered the harshest period of winter – when the chances of snowfall are highest and the temperature drops considerably.
Chillai-Kalan, which, began on December 21 last year, ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that.
The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and 10-day ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
The MeT Office has forecast light rains or snow at few places in the state over the next 24 hours.
It said the weather would stay mainly dry till January 21, after which there is possibility another spell of wet weather.
“From 22 to 26 evening or 27 morning, there is possibility of another spell of rains or snow as the region will be hit by a fresh Western Disturbance on January 22,” the official said.