Kargil shivers at -17 degrees

Kargil, in the frontier Ladakh region, was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir as the minimum temperature there plummeted by nearly six degrees to minus 17 degrees Celsius even as the cold wave tightened its grip in the State.
The mercury in Kargil town settled at minus 17.0 degrees Celsius, down by nearly six degrees from the previous night’s minus 11.4 degrees Celsius, a spokesperson of the MeT department here said.
The town registered a dip of 12 degrees in the minimum temperature during the last two days as it had recorded a low of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius on Thursday.
Leh, also in Ladakh, recorded a low of minus 14.4 degrees Celsius, a decrease of nearly three degrees from minus 11.7 degrees Celsius the previous night, the spokesperson said.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded the minimum temperature of minus 0.8 degree Celsius, over a degree down from the previous night’s 0.6 degree Celsius, he said.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, the star attraction for tourists especially skiers from across the country and abroad, recorded a low temperature of minus 8.4 degrees Celsius compared to minus 7.8 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The famous south Kashmir hill resort of Pahalgam, which also serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, registered the minimum temperature of minus 6.6 degrees Celsius, one degree up from the previous night’s minus 7.6 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.
He said Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley in south, recorded a low temperature  of minus 1.7 degree Celsius against minus 2.4 degrees Celsius yesterday.
The spokesman said Kupwara, in north Kashmir, registered a minimum of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag, in south, recorded a low temperature of minus 2.1 degrees Celsius.
The Met Department has said the weather would remain mainly dry and cold for the next few days.
Kashmir Valley is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ – the 40-day harshest winter period – which began on December 21. The chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent during this period. However, this year the weather had remained mostly dry with occasional snowfall or rains mostly in higher reaches.
Though ‘Chillai-Kalan’ would end on January 31, the winter continues after that. The 40-day period would be followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold). (PTI)