J-K: Minimum temp dips below freezing point, snowfall continues in higher reaches

Srinagar: The higher reaches of Kashmir received snowfall for the second consecutive day as the night temperature dropped below freezing point across the Valley, officials said on Thursday.

Snowfall continued in Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and other higher reaches of Kashmir over the last 24 hours, they said.

The officials said many areas in the plains of Kashmir received intermittent light rain.

The Srinagar-Jammu national highway is through for traffic, while the Mughal Road — the alternate road-link connecting the Valley with Jammu region — was and the Srinagar-Leh highway was closed for traffic, they said.

The officials said there was some delay in the flight operations at Srinagar airport here due to low visibility. However, the operations took place in the afternoon after the visibility improved.

The MeT Office has said widespread light rain in the plains of Kashmir and Jammu divisions and light to moderate snow over higher reaches of Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Baramula towards evening is expected on Thursday.

On Friday, light snow and rain in many places are expected, while the weather will remain mainly dry after that till January 18.

The night temperature decreased and settled below freezing point across the Valley, but stayed above the normal for this part of the season.

Srinagar recorded a low of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday night, down from 3.5 degrees the night before, the officials said.

Qazigund, the gateway to the Valley, registered a minimum temperature of minus 0.4 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 2.8 degrees, they said.

The minimum in Kupwara, a frontier district, settled above the freezing point at a low of minus 0.4 degrees.

The tourist resort town of Pahalgam in Anantnag district, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, registered a low of minus 1.7 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in Gulmarg in Baramulla district was recorded at minus 5.5 degrees Celsius, they said.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai Kalan’, the 40-day harshest weather period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent.

Chillai Kalan begins on December 21 and ends on January 30. The cold wave continues even after that with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold) following it. (PTI)

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