Slight respite in cold wave in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, Jan 3 : Even with the mercury staying several degrees below freezing point across the valley, got a slight respite from intense cold wave conditions, officials said on Tuesday. Srinagar recorded a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius Monday night compared to minus 5.4 degrees Celsius a night earlier.Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius. The minimum in Gulmarg, the famous ski resort in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, was minus 9.2 degrees Celsius, officials said.
The resort was also the coldest recorded place in and Kashmir this winter. The MeT office has forecast dry weather over the next few days for the region leading to colder nights and slightly warmer days.
Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, also witnessed a slight appreciation in minimum temperature Monday night. It registered a low of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius. In Kupwara, a frontier district, the minimum temperature settled at minus 5.3 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.1 degree Celsius, the officials said.
The below-than-normal precipitation this winter has resulted in an increase in respiratory problems for the residents, particularly children and elderly, doctors said.
The sub-zero temperatures have resulted in the freezing of several waterbodies in the valley. Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chilla-i-Kalan,' the 40-day harshest weather period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent.
‘Chilla-i-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. Most areas of the valley received snowfall on Thursday.