Mercury drops again in Kashmir; MeT predicts ‘widespread’ snowfall

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A day after some respite, the minimum temperature dropped again across Kashmir Valley even as the weatherman forecast widespread rain and snowfall in the next two days.

A meteorological department official told that mercury settled at minus 4.6°C against minus 3.1 on previous nights in Srinagar and was almost four degrees Celsius below normal of minus 0.7 °C for this time of the year in the summer capital of J-K.

The minimum temperatures have consistently remained far below normal this season. On 31 January, Srinagar recorded a low of minus 8.8°C, the lowest temperature of the season so far, and the coldest January night in the past 30 years.

On 20 January 1991, Srinagar had witnessed a low of minus 11.8°C while the lowest ever temperature was recorded on 31 January 1893 when the mercury plummeted to minus 14.4 degrees Celsius.

In the last 38 years, there have been seventeen occasions when Srinagar recorded minus 8°C or less of which 1991 remained the coldest and harshest winter with the prolonged cold spell of nine days.

The minimum temperature also hovered around far below the normal in other parts of the Valley, the MeT official said.

The mercury settled at minus 9.3°C in Pahalgam against minus 6.0°C on the previous night while the world-famous health resort received 1.4 cms of fresh snowfall in the last 24 hours, the MeT official said.

Qazigund, the gateway town of J-K, recorded a low of minus 4.5°C against minus 2.1°C on the previous night while Kokernag recorded a minimum of minus 8.4°C against minus 9.5°C on the earlier night.

Gulmarg, the world-famous skiing resort, recorded a low of minus 7.0°C against minus 8.2°C earlier night, the official said.

The mercury also settled at minus 1.6°C in the in Kupwara against minus 2.9°C on the previous night, the official added.

Having endured the harshest 40-day long Chillai-Kalan’, Kashmir is presently under the grip of 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and it would be followed by a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).

The weatherman has forecast “scattered to fairly widespread light rain/snow in Jammu and Kashmir” in next 24 hours. For the subsequent two days, the MeT has predicted “widespread light to moderate rain/snow/thundershowers”. (GNS)

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