Dry spell to end as MeT predicts snow in Valley

Dry spell to end as MeT predicts snow in Valley 
Asif Iqbal
Srinagar, Jan 20: Night temperature remained below freezing point even as cloud cover engulfed Kashmir Tuesday after nearly a week of sunny weather, with the MeT department predicting rain or snow for three days starting Wednesday.
“A fresh western disturbance has become active raising the possibility of light to moderate rains or snow from January 21 to 23,” a spokesman of the MET department said.
Like the past few days today started with a sunny note, but later the sun disappeared behind cloud cover, bringing in a fresh cold wave due to the approaching western disturbance, main system affecting weather in the Valley.
The maximum temperature recorded in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, yesterday was 13.6 degrees Celsius – eight degrees above normal.
Due to mostly clear sky, the night temperature, however, continued to remain several degrees below the freezing point as Srinagar recorded a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius against minus 2.6 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Leh continued to be the coldest recorded place in the state with a minimum of minus 15.5 degrees Celsius.
Nearby Kargil town registered a dip of 1.2 degrees in the minimum temperature as the mercury settled at minus 14.6 degrees Celsius.
The famous south Kashmir hill resort of Pahalgam was the coldest recorded place in the Valley with the night temperature recorded at minus 5.4 degrees Celsius as compared to 6 degrees the previous night.
Gulmarg and Qazigund recorded a low of minus 3.6 degrees Celsius and minus 3.8 degrees Celsius respectively.
The spokesman said the night temperatures in Kupwara and Kokernag settled at a low of minus 3.1 degrees Celsius and minus 0.9 degrees Celsius respectively.
Kashmir Valley is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai Kalan’ ? the 40-day harshest winter period – which began on December 21 and would end on January 31. Chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent during this period, however, this year the weather remained mostly dry with occassional snowfall in the higher reaches and rains in the plains.
‘Chillai Kalan’ would be followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold).
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