SRINAGAR: Fresh snowfall was recorded in the higher reaches of Kashmir overnight while the plains received rains, even as the mercury stayed above the freezing point at most places in the Valley. There was fresh snowfall in the higher reaches of the Valley including Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Kupwara, an official of the Meteorological Department told PTI here. He said the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded 5 cm of snow while 4 cm of fresh snow was registered in the tourist resort of Pahalgam and 1.5 cm in Kupwara in north Kashmir. The official said there are reports of fresh snowfall in the higher reaches of Shopian, including Peer Ki Gali on Mughal Road, Sonamarg, Amarnath Cave Shrine, Razdan Pass, Sadhna Top and Gurez. The plain areas of the Valley, including the summer capital Srinagar, witnessed intermittent rains, the official said. The city recorded 2.7 mm of rainfall during the night and registered a minimum temperature of 1.8 degrees Celsius, he said. The official added that the mercury continued to stay above zero degree Celsius in the city for the fifth consecutive day today. The minimum temperature also remained above the freezing point in the towns of Qazigund, Kokernag and Kupwara. Qazigund registered a low of 1.6 degrees Celsius and received 3.2 mm of rains, the official said. He said Kokernag received 4.5 mm of rains and the mercury there settled at 0.6 degree Celsius. The minimum temperature in Kupwara settled at zero degree Celsius and the town recorded 1.5 cm of snow and 13.5 mm of rainfall, the official said. Gulmarg was the coldest place in Jammu and Kashmir with a low of minus 8.3 degrees Celsius. The resort had recorded a low of minus 11.2 degrees Celsius the previous night. Pahalgam, which serves as the base camp during annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a minimum of minus 0.3 degree Celsius compared to the previous night’s 0.5 degree Celsius, the official said. Leh town, in the cold desert of Ladakh, witnessed an increase of nearly two degrees in the night temperature which settled at minus 5.4 degrees Celsius. Kashmir is in the midst of the 40-day-long harshest phase of winter, which began on December 21 and will continue till the end of this month. Known as Chillai-Kalan in local parlance, the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum during this period. 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 said there is possibility of scattered rains or snowfall in the Valley today.
2015 Kashmir Despatch