Srinagar: There has been some respite from severe cold snap conditions in Kashmir as the minimum temperature improved by several degrees, officials said on Sunday.
Nighttime temperatures in most places in the Valley on Saturday evening were above normal for this part of the season, officials said.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, stabilized at minus 1.2 degrees Celsius, three degrees higher than the previous night’s minus 4.5 degrees Celsius, officials said .
Gulmarg, the famous ski resort in Baramulla district in northern Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 7 degrees Celsius, up 2.5 degrees from the previous night.
Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 5.4 degrees Celsius, six degrees warmer than the previous night, they said.
Officials said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded a low of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, while neighboring town of Kokernag in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4 .5 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Kupwara in northern Kashmir stood at minus 2.1 degrees Celsius.
The MET Office said that under the influence of a weak disturbance from the West, the weather is expected to remain mostly cloudy with the possibility of very light to light rain/snow across the JK Plains from Sunday to Wednesday and snowfall light to moderate on the heights.
There is no major rain/snow forecast until the end of this month, he said.
The Kashmir Valley is currently in the grip of the harshest 40-day winter period known as ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ which started on December 21 last year.
‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ is a time when a cold spell grips the region and the temperature drops drastically causing water bodies to freeze including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the supply lines water in several parts of the valley.
Chances of snowfall are most frequent and highest during this time and most areas, especially the higher reaches, receive heavy to very heavy snowfall.
The ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31, but the cold spell continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (little cold) and ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (cold baby) .