Kashmir gets slight respite from cold as minimum temperature rises

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Srinagar, Jan 26 (PTI) There was some respite from cold wave conditions in Kashmir on Tuesday as the minimum temperature surged at most places in the valley, officials said.

Srinagar city -- the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir -- recorded a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius, up from minus 5.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.

Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded a minimum temperature of 2.8 degrees Celsius – up from minus 5.5 degree Celsius the previous night, they said.

The minimum temperature at the Gulmarg skiing resort, in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, settled at minus 11.5 degrees Celsius on Monday night.

Pahalgam tourist resort, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 7.1 degrees Celsius, rising over four degrees from the previous night's minus 11.9 degrees Celsius.

Kupwara recorded a low of minus 1.4 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag, in the south, registered a minimum temperature of minus 9.0 degrees Celsius.

Minimum temperatures are expected to remain below freezing point for the next week as the weatherman has forecast the possibility of a western disturbance hitting the valley on February 2.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' -- the 40-day harshest winter 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 snowfall.

While 'Chillai-Kalan', which began on December 21, will end on January 31, 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). PTI MIJ SNE