Inside Kashmir

Cold wave continues in Kashmir; Drass freezes at minus 26.8 degree

Srinagar: Chilly weather conditions continued even as the mercury remained several degrees below normal across Kashmir valley, where another spell of snow is predicted from January 4.

However, there was some improvement in the day temperature due to sunshine though ice cold winds continued.

Meanwhile, all the waterbodies in the Union Territory of Ladakh remained frozen even as the maximum and minimum temperatures have been settling below freezing point. The border town of Drass was the coldest place in region as the mercury settled at minus 26.8 degree. Drass is the second coldest place in the world after Siberia.

A Met department spokesperson on Friday told UNI that the weather will remain dry during the next 24 hours, resulting in further dip in the minimum temperature though the day temperature is expected to improve.

He said a fresh Western Disturbance (WD), which originated from the Arabian Sea and is approaching the region though Afghanistan and Pakistan, will hit J&K on Saturday. “Under the influence of this WD, light snow and rain is expected on Saturday and Sunday,” he said.

He said the system will further build and would result in light to heavy snow and rain on Monday and Tuesday at most places in the valley.

Even though there was an improvement of about a degree in the night temperature, the border town of Kargil was still the second coldest place in the region at minus 17.4 degree, followed by Leh at minus 17 degree. The maximum temperature recorded on Thursday in Kargil and Leh was minus 7 degree and minus 2.5 degree, respectively.

The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, witnessed an improved of over a degree from Thursday though it was still 4 degree below normal. Against minus 10.4 degree recorded on Thursday, the night temperature in the ski resort was minus 9 degree.

Tourists woke up to a sunny, but chilly Friday morning in Gulmarg, which is covered under several feet of snow. The day temperature improved further as the day progressed though the ice cold winds continued. “Tourists had thronged in large number in Gulmarg to celebrate New Year. All the hotels in the ski resort are completely booked and tourists are having a time of their lives. Despite chilly conditions they are out on ski slopes enjoying different snow related activities,” a hotelier told UNI over the phone.

After witnessing further dip in the night temperature, people woke up to a sunny Friday morning though the intensity of the sun’s heat was less even as ice cold winds continued in the summer capital, Srinagar. Against minus 5.9 degree recorded on Thursday, the night temperature in the city was minus 6.4 degree, which is about 4 degree below normal. Drivers and mechanics had burned wood early in the morning on roadsides to keep themselves warm in Srinagar.

The night temperature at world famous health resort of Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir, improved about 2 degree from Thursday and settled at minus 7.8 degree, which is over 2 degree below normal.

The mercury at Qazigund, gateway to the valley, Kupwara in north Kashmir, tourist resort of Kokernag settled at minus 5.7 degree, minus 5.6 degree and minus 7.8 degree, respectively.

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