File photo Photograph:( PTI )
Overcast conditions today brightened the chances of a downpour in Kashmir Valley where people are hoping for an end to the month-long dry spell.
Clouds appeared this morning after residents of the valley experienced unusually bright sunshine for more than two weeks. The MET department has forecast rain or snowfall at isolated placed today.
Kashmir has been going through extremely dry and cold weather conditions this winter, leading to health-related problems among children and elderly.
Kargil town, in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, continued to shiver as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 19.2 degrees Celsius last night, slightly down from minus 18.8 degrees Celsius the previous night, an official of the Meteorological Department here said.
He said Kargil continued to be the coldest recorded place in the state.
The nearby Leh town was the second coldest as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 14 degrees Celsius marginally up from minus 14.3 degrees Celsius previous night.
He said Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of minus 3.7 degrees Celsius last night marginally up from minus 4.4 degrees Celsius the previous night.
The night temperature in Qazigund, in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 3.6 degrees Celsius, while the neighbouring Kokernag town registered a low of minus 1.8 degrees Celsius last night, the official said.
He said Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius slightly up from the previous night's minus 4.9 degrees Celsius.
The official said the night temperature in Pahalgam settled at a low of minus 5 degrees Celsius compared to the low of minus 5.7 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Gulmarg recorded a minimum temperature of minus 5.2 degrees Celsius, a slight decrease from yesterday's minus 4.5 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, a 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
It ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that 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).