Srinagar: Kargil was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir with the mercury there settling at minus 20 degrees Celsius as the cold wave tightened its grip in the valley and Ladakh region.
An official of the Meteorological Department here said that Kargil, in the frontier Ladakh region, was the coldest recorded place in the state.
The night temperature in Kargil settled at a low of minus 20 degrees Celsius last night marginally down from minus 19.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, he said.
The nearby Leh town was the second coldest as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 13.8 degrees Celsius nearly seven degrees down from minus 6.9 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The official said Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 3.1 degrees Celsius last night over a degree down from minus 2 degrees Celsius.
He said the night temperature in in south Kashmir’s Qazigund settled at a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius, a decrease of over three degrees from yesterday’s 0.4 degree.
The neighbouring Kokernag town registered a low of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius last night, compared to the previous night’s 0.6 degree Celsius, the official said.
He said Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius, marginally down from minus 2.8 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The official said the night temperature in Pahalgam, the famous health resort, decreased over four degrees from a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius the previous night to settle at the low of minus 5.7 degrees Celsius last night.
Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir, recorded the minimum temperature of minus 8.6 degrees Celsius, a drop of 1.6 degrees, the official said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, a 40-day period of harshest winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
However, about a month into the period, the weather has largely remained dry, especially in the plains.
It ends on 31 January, but the cold wave continues even after that period in the valley.
The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long Chillai Khurd (small cold) and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold).
The MET Office has forecast mainly dry weather in Kashmir till 22 January.