Severe part of winter, Chillai Kalan, begins in Kashmir

Excelsior Correspondent

Gandola cable car in a snow-clad mountain in Gulmarg.  -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Gandola cable car in a snow-clad mountain in Gulmarg.
-Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Srinagar, Dec 21: The 40-day chilliest part of winter in Kashmir, Chillai-Kalan, began today on a warmer note as night temperatures rose across the Valley.
Chillai-Kalan, is the period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent and temperatures remain mostly below zero.
People mostly stay indoors during this chilliest part of winter as day temperature also dips drastically with night temperature being mostly below freezing leading to freezing of most of the water bodies including the famous Dal Lake.
Though minimum temperatures continued to remain below the freezing point, they went up by several degrees across the division, increasing the chances of snowfall in the region which has seen dry weather so far.
There was light snowfall in Gulmarg and other upper reaches of Kashmir valley making people to shiver with the cold as icy winds were blowing across Kashmir.
The MeT office spokesman here forecast widespread rains or isolated snowfall over the next 24 hours. He said the minimum temperature increased by over two degrees in Srinagar as the city recorded a low of minus 1.8 degree Celsius, compared to the previous night’s minus 4.4 degree Celsius.
The spokesman said that Pahalgam in South Kashmir recorded a low of minus 2.4 degree Celsius, up by over three degrees from minus 6.2 degree Celsius recorded the previous night.
The minimum temperature in Qazigund increased by four degrees from minus 5.8 degree Celsius the previous night to settle at a low of minus 1.8 degree Celsius. Kokernag recorded minus 1.7 degree Celsius”, the spokesman said.
“Gulmarg recorded a minimum of minus 2.8 degree Celsius, as against the previous night’s minus 3.4 degree Celsius. The spokesman said that Kupwara town recorded a low of minus 4.3 degree Celsius”, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that minimum temperature in Leh was recorded at minus 6.0 degree Celsius, over seven degrees up from the previous night’s minus 13.9 degree Celsius. “Kargil registered an increase of over three degrees from the previous night’s low of minus 13 degree Celsius to settle at minus 9.6 degree Celsius”, the spokesman added.
This year, chill is more and some people attribute it to the September floods that ravaged Kashmir valley.
Meanwhile, chilly weather conditions for the fourth consecutive day with mercury much below the normal and no sunshine, kept the people indoor today and resorting to different means for warmth in Jammu.
As there was also no improvement in the prevailing foggy conditions, Rail traffic remained disrupted due to poor visibility and maximum trains reached here late behind the scheduled time. However, there was no disruption in flights, which were on time, official sources informed the Excelsior.
Almost negligible change was registered in maximum and minimum temperature in Jammu on Sunday in comparison to that of yesterday. Jammu today registered 11.8 degree Celsius day temperature, which was still much below the normal thus triggering cold wave conditions across the region. The minimum temperature witnessed a slight fall from 4.8 degree Celsius (Saturday) to 4.5 degree Celsius (Sunday).
Due to fog and consequent poor visibility, maximum trains were late in their arrival at Jammu. Jammu Mail and Pooja Express reached at 11.30 am and 12.25 noon, respectively, instead of their scheduled time 9.30 am and 8 am, respectively. Sealdah was late by four hours, Jhelum by five hours, Varanasi Express by six hours and Archana Express by eight hours. Similarly other trains were also late in arrival.
Late arrival of trains led to rescheduling of their departure also and therefore passengers had to wait for hours together.
However, there was no disruption in Air traffic and all flights were on time.
According to the Metrology Department, the prevailing cold wave is likely to further intensify in the forthcoming days. Light rains and snow may occur at isolated places in the next 24 hours, Met official said.


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