Jammu’s night temp breaks all previous records, reaches closer to zero

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU/ SRINAGAR, Dec 31: Breaking all previous records, winter capital Jammu today recorded just nearly freezing temperature of 0.2 degree Celsius during night at Chatha observatory near Jammu Airport, while dense fog, frost and bone-chilling cold weather continued to grip entire Jammu region for the last couple of days.
The envelop of dense fog and poor visibility around Jammu Airport delayed landing of 15 flights while two flights of Air India and Go Air were cancelled. No flight could land at Jammu Airport before 1 pm as the visibility was very poor at the Airport.
Senior Scientist and Incharge Agrometeorology Department, SKUAST-Jammu, Dr Mahinder Kumar Singh told the Excelsior that Chatha observatory of the Agriculture University recorded a lowest ever temepature of its history for 38 years. He disclosed that temperature at Chatha observatory remained 0.2 degree Celsius last night, which is the lowest so far in Jammu as per the data available with the Department.
Dr Singh further disclosed that on January 22, 23 and 24 during 2008, Jammu’s temperature remained below 1 degree Celsius. On January 5, 2007 Jammu had recorded 0.6 degree C. On December 31, 2007 also Jammu’s Chatha observatory recorded 0.6 degree Celsius temperature. He said the frost in Jammu areas for the last couple of days has made life horrible. He added that due to the impact of Western Disturbances (WD), the thick fog and frost besides rain and snowfall is taking place in the region. From January 3 onwards, again WD will hit the region for couple of days causing rain and snowfall again, Singh added.
A MeT spokesman, however, said that Bhaderwah town of Jammu recorded a minimum temperature of -4.4 degree C today, holy township of Katra 3.7 deg C and Batote 0.3 degree C temperature. He disclosed that in Jammu the sky will remain clear during next 24 hours, but in Srinagar it will remain partly cloudy tomorrow.
Reports from Srinagar said that the chilly weather conditions have intensified as the mercury dipped and settled several degrees below normal due to open skies across Kashmir valley, whereas world famous ski- resort of Gulmarg was the coldest place at -10.4 degree.
There was some improvement in the day temperature due to Sunshine though icy cold winds continued in the Valley, which is expected to remain dry during the next two days.
Meanwhile, people continued to suffer as all the waterbodies in the Union Territory of Ladakh remained frozen even as the maximum and minimum temperatures have been settling below freezing point. The Kargil was the coldest place in the region as the mercury dipped about 1 degree from Wednesday and settled at minus 18.5 degree, followed by Leh at minus 15.8 degree.
A MeT department spokesperson said that the weather will remain dry during the next 48 hours, resulting in further dip in the minimum temperature though the day temperature is expected to improve.
He said a fresh Western Disturbance (WD), which originated from the Arabian Sea and is approaching the region through Afghanistan and Pakistan, will hit J&K on Saturday. “Under the influence of this WD, light to heavy snow and rain is expected for four days from Saturday,” he added.
Even though there was a slight improvement in the night temperature due to partial clouds, Gulmarg, was the coldest place in the valley. Against minus 11 degree recorded on Wednesday, the night temperature at the ski resort settled at minus 10.4 degree, which is 4 degree below normal.
Tourists woke up to a chilly Thursday morning in Gulmarg, which is covered under several feet of snow. But, as the day progressed Sun came out from behind the clouds, resulting in some improvement in the maximum temperature though ice cold winds continued.
“Tourists are thronging in large number in Gulmarg to celebrate New Year. All the hotels in the ski resort are completely booked and tourists are having a time of their lives. Despite chilly conditions they are out on ski slopes enjoying different snow related activities,” a hotelier said.
People woke up to a sunny but chilly Thursday morning in the summer capital, Srinagar, which witnessed a dip of about 4 degrees in the night temperature. Against minus 2.1 degree recorded on Wednesday, the night temperature in the city was minus 5.9 degree, which is about 4 degree below normal.
The night temperature at world famous health resort of Pahalgam, dipped marginally and settled at minus 9.6 degree, which is over 4 degree below normal.
The mercury at Qazigund, gateway to the Valley, Kupwara in North Kashmir and tourist resort of Kokernag dipped and settled at minus 6.2 degree, minus 5.8 degree and minus 7.8 degree, respectively, the spokesman added.