Light snowfall ends 2-month long dry spell in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Light snowfall in higher reaches of Kashmir brought to an end a nearly two-month-long dry spell in the valley as minimum temperatures rose significantly on Thursday night, officials said.

Snowfall was reported from Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Gurez, Macchil, Karnah Doodpathri and Shopian areas of the valley and was going on intermittently, the officials said.

There was a slight drizzle in some parts of Srinagar city before daybreak but bright sunshine followed after dawn.

Srinagar city recorded a minimum temperature of minus 0.5 degrees Celsius on Thursday night, up three degrees from the previous night's minus 3.6 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 0.4 degrees Celsius.

Qazigund town in south Kashmir recorded a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius and the ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 3.7 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature in Kokernag town settled at minus 0.1 degrees Celsius and in Kupwara at 2.5 degrees Celsius.

A dry and largely snowless winter in Kashmir had resulted in freezing nights and warmer-than-usual days in the valley. On some days, Srinagar was warmer than Delhi, Chandigarh and Lucknow.

There has been no snowfall in most plain areas of Kashmir, while the upper reaches of the valley have received lesser than usual amount of snow.

The weathermen have forecast light snowfall at some places in the valley till January 31.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chilla-i-Kalan', a 40-day harsh winter period when a cold wave sweeps the region and temperatures drop considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies as well as water in pipes.

The chances of snowfall are the highest during this period and most areas, particularly the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

'Chilla-i-Kalan' will end on January 31. However, the cold conditions will continue after that with a 20-day 'Chilla-i-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day 'Chilla-i-Bachha' (baby cold).

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