Kashmir reeled under cold conditions on Wednesday as the valley recorded sub-zero temperatures with Srinagar experiencing the coldest night of the season so far, the meteorological department said.
The minimum temperature across Kashmir and Ladakh remained several degrees below the freezing point on Wednesday owing to clear sky, a MeT department official said.
He said Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season so far as the minimum temperature settled at minus 4.3 degrees Celsius last night – 0.3 degrees down from minus 4.0 degrees Celsius the previous night, leading to freezing of water supply lines at several places.
The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 9.0 degrees Celsius last night – up from the previous night's minus 10.2 degrees Celsius, he said.
The night temperature at Pahalgam resort, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 11.4 degrees Celsius as against minus 10.4 degrees Celsius yesterday, he said.
Pahalgam, in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, was the coldest recorded place in the valley, he added.
The official said Qazigund – the gateway town to the valley - in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 9.4 degrees Celsius – a decrease of nearly two degrees from minus 7.8 degrees Celsius from the previous night.
Kokernag town, also in the south, recorded a low of minus 6.7 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in the north, registered the minimum of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said Leh town in the Union Territory of Ladakh recorded a low of minus 17.8 degrees Celsius – one degree down from minus 16.7 degrees Celsius on the previous night.
The MeT department has forecast mainly dry weather for the week ahead.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' - the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
'Chillai-Kalan' began on December 21 and ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).