Dal lake freezes, no respite in Dec

A view of frozen Dal lake in Srinagar on Monday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
A view of frozen Dal lake in Srinagar on Monday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, Dec 24: The cold wave conditions swept Kashmir today with the temperatures breaking the 11 year old record by dipping to minus 6.8 degree Celsius in Srinagar freezing Dal lake and other water bodies.
Since the beginning of 40-day harsh part winter-Chillai Kalan-which started on December 21 and will end on January 30, the temperatures plummeted.
At minus 6.8 degrees Celsius, Srinagar recorded the coldest December today after over a decade. A severe cold wave has swept Kashmir and Ladakh regions and temperatures are several notches below the normal. Click here to watch video
A Meteorological Department official said that today was the coldest day of the season after 11 years. “After 11 years, Srinagar recorded the coldest night. Last time such severe December cold hit the city was on December 31, 2007, when the mercury dipped to minus 7.2,” the official said.
The present cold wave in Jammu and Kashmir was likely to continue for another five days till Saturday, as no change was expected, the official said.
However, there may be some respite from the intense cold wave conditions due to Western Disturbance which may bring snow and rains to Jammu and Kashmir in new year.
The Valley was presently passing through the 40-day harsh winter of Chillai Kalan which started on December 21 and will end on January 30.During this time of the winter the temperatures mostly remain below freezing and making water bodies and water taps to freeze.
The Dal lake was this morning frozen and the boatmen had to cut the ice during morning hours to row their boats in the lake. People early in the morning visited the lake to see its frozen surface. However, as the Sun came out, by afternoon the ice surface melted.
Pahalgam and Gulmarg recorded minus 7.2 degrees Celsius and minus 6.8 degrees Celsius while the minimum was minus 14.7 degrees Celsius in Leh and minus 15.2 degrees Celsius in Kargil.
The maximum temperatures at Srinagar, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Leh and Kargil were recorded at 10.2 degrees Celsius, 8.8, 4.0, 5.9 and 1.2 degrees Celsius, respectively.
Jammu city recorded 5.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 4.8, Batote minus 1.4, Banihal minus 3 and Bhaderwah minus 2.1 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperatures at these places were recorded at 20.2 degrees Celsius, 16.7, 11.8, 15. 8 and 11.3 degrees Celsius respectively.