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Intense cold snap continues in Kashmir on New Year’s Day; Gulmarg freezes at -9 degrees C


Severe cold snap conditions continued unabated in Kashmir, where the minimum temperature settled below freezing, marking an icy welcome to the New Year.

Freezing temperatures throughout the Valley resulted in the freezing of water supply lines and bodies of water in several areas, authorities said.

The weather remained dry in Kashmir, but the valley continued to experience subzero nights as the minimum temperature stabilized several degrees below freezing, they said.

Officials said the dry weather brought disappointment to hundreds of tourists at the famous Gulmarg ski resort who had hopes of welcoming the New Year amid the snowfall.

However, huge icicles formed at various locations around the resort, against white-covered lawns, presenting a beautiful sight to visitors who had rushed there in hordes to celebrate the New Year, they said.

The complex experienced freezing weather when the mercury settled to a low of minus 9 degrees Celsius Thursday night and was the coldest place on record in Jammu and Kashmir, authorities said.

Cold weather across the valley caused water supply lines and bodies of water to freeze in several areas, they said.

The city of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, registered a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius, down from minus 5.9 degrees Celsius the night before.

Pahalgam, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra in southern Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 7.8 degrees Celsius.

Qazigund, the gateway city to the valley, registered a low of minus 5.7 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in northern Kashmir, registered a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius and Kokernag, in the south, minus 7, 8 degrees Celsius, officials said. .

The MeT office has said that while the weather is likely to remain dry for the next two days, there is the possibility of a streak of rain or snow in isolated or extended locations for a few days starting Monday.

Kashmir is currently under the control of ‘Chillai-Kalan’, the harshest 40-day winter period when a cold wave takes over the region and the temperature drops considerably, causing bodies of water to freeze, including the famous Dal Lake here, as well as the water supply lines in various parts of the valley.

The chances of snowfall are more frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

While ‘Chillai-Kalan’, which started on December 21, will end on January 31, the cold snap continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (little cold) and a whole day ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold)

Hindustan Times