Kashmir, Ladakh set for another cold wave spell

Srinagar : After moderate snowfall in the mountains and light rain in the plains during the last two days, the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh are in for another spell of dry and cold weather with temperatures likely to fall much below the freezing point, the weather office said Wednesday.

“The western disturbance which remained active here during the last two days has weakened. We are in for another spell of cold, dry weather with night temperatures likely to fall much below the freezing point in the Valley and the Ladakh region in the coming days,” meteorological office director Sonam Lotus said.

In layman’s terms, it means the Valley is in for another extended spell of severe cold wave from which the locals had experienced some relief as snow lashed the mountains and the plains received light rainfall during the last two days.

“Currently, there is no system in the vicinity which could cause precipitation here. We are expecting another extended spell of cold wave from today onwards”, Lotus said.

Traditionally known as the severest part of winter, the 40-day long ‘Chillai Kalan’ started here Wednesday.

The perennial water reservoirs of the Valley which feed the scores of rivers and streams during the summer months are replenished by heavy snows during the ‘Chillai Kalan’.

“Any snowfall after the ‘Chillai Kalan’ which ends on Jan 30 is traditionally believed to be of little consequence as such snows melt early and do not contribute to the replenishing of the water reservoirs up in the mountains of the Valley”, said Bashir Ahmad War, a resident of north Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.

The minimum temperature in summer capital Srinagar was 0.8 degrees Celsius Wednesday and the city received 4.3 centimetres of rain during the last 24 hours.

The minimum temperature was minus 5.4 degrees in south Kashmir’s Pahalgam hill station while it was minus 7.5 degrees in north Kashmir’s Gulmarg ski resort.

Pahalgam and Gulmarg received a snowfall of 7.6 centimetres and 9.8 centimetres respectively in the last 24 hours.

Leh town was the coldest place in the state with the mercury falling 12.0 degrees below the freezing point. Kargil town of Ladakh region recorded a minimum of minus 8.0 degrees.

Both Leh and Kargil continued to suffer severe cold wave conditions without any rain or snow during the last 24 hours, the weather office said here.

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