Intense cold in Valley, Jammu’s temp improves

A group of people warm themselves near a bonfire on the outskirts of Srinagar on Sunday. —Excelsior/Shakeel
A group of people warm themselves near a bonfire on the outskirts of Srinagar on Sunday. —Excelsior/Shakeel

WDs may hit J&K on Jan 1-2
Fayaz Bukhari/Gopal Sharma
SRINAGAR/JAMMU, Dec 23: With the beginning of the Chilai Kalan (big cold) in Kashmir, the cold wave has intensified in the Valley with icy cold winds blowing leading to drop in the temperatures, freezing of water bodies and water tapes while in Jammu region, some improvement in temperature has been witnessed.
A MeT Department official said that there will be no relief from the intense weather for the next five days due to dry weather conditions in Kashmir. He said that the night temperatures during this period will further plummet.
Srinagar re-corded minus 4.4 degrees Celsius as lowest temperature with Pahalgam settling at a low of minus 6.7 degrees Celsius and Gulmarg minus 5.5 degrees Celsius. Drass in Kargil district was the coldest place at minus 17.3 degree Celsius, while Leh recorded minus 14.3 and Kargil minus 14.5 degrees Celsius.
Director Meteorological department, Sonam Lotus told the Excelsior that Western Disturbances (WDs) may hit J&K from Ist of January, 2019 while weather will remain clear till the ending of this month. He said rain and snowfall in the hilly areas of the State may take place on January1-2. It may further bring down the temperature in the region.
Responding to a question on foggy weather conditions, he said there were early rains in the region and therefore, there is not much fog in most of the areas in Jammu region and parts of adjoining Punjab. He said the weather in most parts of Jammu and parts of Kashmir will remain clear in coming one week and day temperature may further rise. Lotus said night temperature in Jammu showed sharp fall on Saturday with 3.9 lowest temperature of the season so far, but it increased to 6 plus today. On Friday Jammu recorded 6.1 as night temperature, he added.
Meanwhile, Jammu recorded a lowest temperature of 6.7 degrees Celsius, Katra 6.0, Batote 1.5, Banihal minus of while tourist place Bhaderwah 0.1 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature at these places were recorded at 19.7 degrees Celsius, 16.6, 12.2, 13.7 and 12.5 degrees Celsius, respectively. The MeT office has predicted sunny days across Jammu in coming one week.
Chilai Kalan begins on December 21 and ends on January 30 in Kashmir. During these 40 days, Kashmir remains in the grip of intense cold with high chances of snowfall and rain. The night temperatures, during this period, mostly stay below freezing point.
The 40-day ‘Chilai Kalan’ is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chilai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chilai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
The sub-zero temperatures has led to the freezing of fringes of Dal lake and other water bodies in Kashmir. The water tapes have also frozen in Kashmir creating water shortages in the morning but as the sun comes out, the frozen tapes melt bringing relief to the people.
The power cuts in extreme cold weather conditions have added to the hardships of the common people.
“It is not just the erratic power supply. The low voltage and frequent interruptions have become a new norm in the Valley,” said Gulzar Ahmad, a resident of Hyderpora.
“There is crisis in both metered and non-metered areas. We are paying hefty bills but when it comes to deliverance the authorities are not doing all possible efforts to minimize power cuts and ensure strict adherence to a proper schedule,” he said.
Another resident Zaffar Ahmad said that that consumers are facing 10-14 hours of power cut daily and that during the remaining hours power trips off after every half an hour.
He said that the Power Department says that they have enough power as per the consumer load but they blamed consumers for power thefts. “We are paying bills as per meter reading. If any consumer is resorting to power theft, he should be booked under law”, he said.