Sub-zero temperatures hit Kashmir as Chillai-Kalan, the harshest winter period, sets in; Srinagar relatively warm

Srinagar: The 40-day harshest winter period in Kashmir, known in the local parlance as Chillai-Kalan, began on a dry note on Friday, even as cold wave conditions continue to prevail in the Valley and Ladakh region as the minimum temperature settled several notches below the freezing point.

Chillai-Kalan — a harsh winter period when the snowfalls are most frequent and maximum temperatures drop considerably — marked its beginning in Kashmir on Friday, MET department officials in Srinagar said.

 Sub-zero temperatures hit Kashmir as Chillai-Kalan, the harshest winter period, sets in; Srinagar relatively warm

Representational image. PTI

The Chillai-Kalan period ends on 31 January, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day Chillai-Khurd (small cold) and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold).

The officials said while the weather remained dry across Kashmir, temperatures dipped at most places on Thursday night and settled several notches below the freezing point. The minimum temperature on Thursday night was also several points below the normal for this part of the season in the Valley, they said.

Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – was the only place in the valley where the night temperature rose. The city recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius on Thursday night, compared to minus 4.9 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.

They said the minimum temperature in the city was around three notches below the normal for this time of the season.

The officials said Qazigund – the gateway town to the Valley - in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.7 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius on Thursday night. Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius on Thursday night, they said. The night temperature in Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius – down from the previous night's minus 6.8 degrees Celsius.

The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a minimum temperature of minus 6.0 degrees Celsius – down from the previous night's minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

The normal for this time of the winter in the twin resorts is minus 4.4 degrees Celsius and minus 4.8 degrees Celsius respectively.

Leh district of Ladakh region recorded a low of minus 12.7 degrees Celsius – up from minus 14.7 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said. The nearby Kargil registered the minimum temperature of minus 15.1 degrees Celsius. The MET office has forecast mainly dry weather for the week ahead.

Updated Date: Dec 21, 2018 13:55:56 IST