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Cold wave intensifies in Kashmir; Leh shivers at minus 17.1 Celsius

December 26, 2018 12:35 IST

The cold wave sweeping Kashmir intensified on Wednesday as the mercury stayed several degrees below the freezing point, resulting in frozen water bodies and water supply lines in several residential areas.

IMAGE: A tourist takes photos of icicles formed due to burst of a water supply line during a snowfall at Pahalgam in Anantnag district of south Kashmir. Photograph: S Irfan/PTI Photo

Leh in Ladakh region recorded the lowest temperature this winter as mercury plummeted to minus 17.1 degree Celsius on Tuesday night, a meteorological department official said.

Kargil recorded a low of minus 14.4 degree Celsius, he said.

Srinagar -- the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir -- which recorded the coldest night in 11 years on Monday at minus 6.8 degree Celsius, experienced a similar minimum temperature on Tuesday night, the official said.

 

He said Qazigund -- the gateway town to the Valley -- in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.9 degree Celsisus, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 5.4 degree Celsius on Tuesday night.

IMAGE: A view of Betab Valley after a fresh snowfall at Pahalgam in Anantnag district. Photograph: S Irfan/PTI Photo

Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6.4 degree Celsius. The night temperature in Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra in south Kashmir, settled at minus 7.9 degree Celsius, the official said.

The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the coldest place in the Valley at minus 9.4 degree Celsius.

The cold wave has resulted in freezing of some water bodies, including the fringes of the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar, and residential water supply pipes in Srinagar and other towns of the Valley.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ -- the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum and the temperature drops considerably.

IMAGE: A boatman rows his boat on a partially frozen area of the Dal Lake on a cold winter morning, in Srinagar. Photograph: S Irfan/PTI Photo

‘Chillai-Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that. It is followed by a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).

The winter this season has been largely dry, although there was a spell of snowfall in the Valley in early November.

The prolonged dry spell has resulted in an increase in common ailments like cough, cold and other respiratory problems, especially among children and elderly people.

The weatherman has predicted rain or snowfall at isolated places in the Valley and Ladakh region on Wednesday.

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