Srinagar recorded its coldest night in 25 years with the temperature dropping to minus 8.4 degrees Celsius on Thursday, the Hindustan Times reported, citing the Indian Meteorological Department.
“As per our record, the same minimum temperature [-8.3°C] was recorded in 1995,” said IMD Director for Jammu and Kashmir Sonam Lotus. “We don’t expect the temperature to fall beyond this, this winter.”
An official of the meteorological department said that the temperature had fallen to minus 11.3 degrees Celsius in 1991, reported PTI. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Srinagar was minus 14.4 degrees Celsius in 1893.
Srinagar had on Tuesday recorded minus 7.8 degrees Celsius, which was also one of the coldest nights in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. “The last time that the same temperature [of minus 7.8 degrees Celsius] was recorded was on January 14, 2012,” Lotus said. “This time, it was recorded in the middle of a harsh winter also known as Chilai Kalan,” he said. Chilai-Kalan is a 40-day period of harsh winter initiated by cold waves when the temperature falls considerably and leads to the freezing of water bodies.
The rest of the Valley is also reeling under intense cold that has frozen several water bodies, including a portion of the Dal Lake.
Jammu also had a cold night on Wednesday with the temperature falling to 5 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature in Gulmarg tourist resort was recorded at minus 7 degrees Celsius, higher from minus 10 degrees Celsius a night earlier. Kupwara recorded a minimum temperature of minus 6.7 degrees Celsius. It was minus 10.3 degrees Celsius in Kokern.
The IMD director said that the weather will remain dry till January 20. “There is no forecast of snow or rainfall till January 27,” he said. “However, light rain and snowfall can’t be ruled out.”
The Chilai Kalan began on December 21 and will end on January 31. However, the cold wave continues with a 20-day-long “Chilai-Khurd’’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long “Chilai-Bachha’’ (baby cold).