Snowfall, rain in Valley; Gulmarg coldest place in Jammu-Kashmir

Srinagar: Snowfall swept the higher reaches of Kashmir while rain lashed the plains of the Valley for the second straight day on Tuesday even as the weatherman predicted another spell of wet weather over 48 hours beginning Friday.

The higher reaches of the Valley received fresh snowfall during the night while areas in the plains saw intermittent rainfall till this morning, a MeT official said, adding that there is a possibility of isolated rain or snowfall in the Valley later this week over two days beginning Friday.

The famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir had snow of a depth of 21 inches this morning, most of it received overnight. The resort recorded a slight drop in the mercury from the previous night's low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperature settled at minus 5.8 degrees.

Gulmarg was the only place in the Valley where the minimum settled below freezing point and it was also the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir, he added. The south Kashmir tourist resort of Pahalgam, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded 6cm of fresh snowfall while the mercury there settled at zero degrees, the official said.

Srinagar, the summer capital of J-K, which yesterday experienced the season's first major snowfall, got 9.5mm of fresh snowfall and showers during the night. The minimum in the city dropped by over a degree to settle at 0.8 degrees, the official said. The mercury also dropped in the towns of Qazigund, Kupwara and Kokernag, which registered lows of 1.6, zero and 1 degree Celsius, respectively.

Further, while Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded fresh snowfall of 4.5cm, Qazigund and Kokernag recorded 8.6mm and 6.5mm of rainfall, respectively, during the night, the official said.

Meanwhile, Leh, in the frontier region of Ladakh, recorded a low of minus 5.2 degrees -- an increase by nearly three notches from the previous night's minus 7.8 degrees. The town of Kargil nearby registered an increase of over three notches in the minimum, which settled at minus 5.6 degrees as against the minus 9 degrees the night before. The Valley is in the midst of the 40-day harshest phase of winter, known as 'Chillai-Kalan' in local parlance, which commenced on December 21 and will continue till the end of this month. The chances of frequent and heavy snowfall is the highest during this period.

The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day-long 'Chillai Bachha' (baby cold).

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