Mercury falls across Kashmir, Gulmarg coldest at minus 10.4 degrees Celsius

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Srinagar: There was a slight dip in minimum temperatures in most parts of Kashmir with the tourist resort of Gulmarg reeling under intense cold wave as the mercury fell to minus 10.4 degrees Celsius, officials said here on Wednesday.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of 1.3 degrees Celsius down from 1.8 degrees Celsius the previous night, they said.

Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 10.4 degrees Celsius down from minus 9.2 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The officials said Qazigund recorded the minimum of 0.2 degrees Celsius, while the nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius.

The mercury in Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 1.6 degrees Celsius.

Kashmir valley is currently under the grip of the 40-day harshest winter period known as ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ which began on December 21 last year.

‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ is a 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 to very heavy snowfall.

The ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ will end on January 31, but 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).