SRINAGAR, Dec 20: A day before the 40-day-long period of harsh winter ‘Chillai Kalan’ (the greater chill) sets in, cold wave swept Kashmir today with night temperatures further dropping.
A Meteorological Department official said that dry and cold weather condition with a further drop in the night temperatures was likely to continue for another week.
The officials said there was further drop in night temperatures during the last 24 hours as Leh recorded minus 14.7 degrees Celsius, Srinagar minus 4.9, Pahalgam minus 6.8 and Gulmarg minus 5.4 degrees Celsius.
However, maximum day temperatures at these places were recorded at 7.0 degrees Celsius, 10.6, 9.4 and 5.0 degrees celsius, respectively.
Jammu recorded 6.1 degrees Celsius, Katra 6.2, Batote 1.6, Banihal minus 1.5 and Bhaderwah 0.3 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperatures.
The maximum day temperatures at these places were recorded at 21.0 degrees Celsius, 18.2, 15.0, 16.6 and 12.0 degrees Celsius respectively.
The ‘Chillai Kalan’ sets each year on December 21 and ends on January 30. Water bodies have already started freezing in the Valley so are the water tapes in the morning. Small fires are lit each morning around water taps to de-freeze them. The freezing of tapes leads to water shortages in the morning.
The chilliest part of the winter begins on 21st of December. The first 40 days which begin on 21st December and end on January 30 are chilliest of winter and is called ‘Chillai Kalan’ (greater chill). During this part of the winter, the water bodies freeze and night temperatures mostly remain subzero.
This is followed by 20 days of ‘Chillai Khurd’ (lesser chill) and ‘Chillai Bacha’ (baby cold).
The power crisis in Kashmir has further worsened as the temperatures dropped. The power cuts in Kashmir valley are around 10-12 hours and besides this there are unscheduled power cuts that further irks the residents.