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General News At minus 5 degrees Celsius, Srinagar records coldest night of season

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Srinagar recorded the coldest night of the season so far as the mercury continued its downward spiral across Kashmir valley, the Met office said on Thursday. The minimum temperature across Kashmir and Ladakh remained several degrees below the freezing point on Thursday owing to clear sky, an official of the Meteorological Department said.

He said Wednesday night was the coldest in Srinagar as the minimum temperature settled at minus 5 degrees Celsius-- 0.7 degrees down from minus 4.3 degree 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 11.2 degrees Celsius last night-– down from the previous night's minus 9 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 12.7 degrees Celsius as against minus 11.4 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, 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 9.8 degrees Celsius-- a decrease of nearly two degrees from minus 9.4 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.

Kokernag town, also in south, recorded a low of minus 6.9 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in north, registered a minimum temperature of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, the official said. He said Leh town, in the Ladakh Union territory, recorded a low of minus 18 degrees Celsius. The Met office 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 in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).


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