JAMMU, JAN 20
Cold spell continues in the north of India, with the hilly region experiencing snowfall and rainfall in several region. In Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had forecasted on Wednesday (January 19) partly to generally cloudy weather, with the possibility of light rain and snow at scattered places during the next 48 hours.
Isolated to scattered rainfall and snowfall over Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are likely during the next couple of days and increase thereafter with fairly widespread to widespread rainfall/snowfall over the region during January 22-23, and reduction thereafter, says the IMD.
Meanwhile, The minimum temperature dropped slightly in most parts of Kashmir where the tourist resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam received fresh snowfall, officials said on Thursday.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, settled at a low of 2.2 degrees Celsius half-a-degree down from the previous night, they said.
Gulmarg, the famous skiing resort in Baramulla district of north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 5. degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 0.6 degrees Celsius, up from the previous night’s minus 1.9 degrees Celsius, they said.
The officials said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded a minimum of 0.7 degrees Celsius, while the nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.1 degrees Celsius.
The minimum in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of 1.2 degrees Celsius.
The MET Office has said the weather will remain partly to generally cloudy in J-K with the possibility of a spell of light rain or snow during January 22-23.
Thereafter, the weather is likely to stay mainly dry till the end of the month and there is no forecast of any major rain or snow till the end of January, it said.
Kashmir valley is currently under the grip of the 40-day harshest winter period known as ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ which began on December 21 last year.
‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ is a period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.
The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy to very heavy snowfall.
The ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).