The 40-day severe winter period known as `Chilla-i-Kalan` in Kashmir concluded on Tuesday, unexpectedly marked by minimal snowfall in the plains of the Valley and below-average precipitation in the higher reaches of the valley.
While there was some light to moderate snowfall in the valley`s higher reaches towards the end of the 40-day period, most of `Chilla-i-Kalan, in Kashmir, the period with the highest likelihood of snowfall, remained dry. The region experienced an extended dry spell this winter, with no snowfall in the plains.
During the 40-day harsh winter period, a cold wave envelops the region, causing a significant drop in temperatures, leading to the freezing of water bodies and water in supply pipes. Even after the conclusion of `Chilla-i-Kalan,` the cold conditions persist in Kashmir with a 20-day `Chilla-i-Khurd` (small cold) and a 10-day `Chilla-i-Bachha` (baby cold).
In Srinagar city, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, the minimum temperature dropped to 0.8 degrees Celsius from 3.6 degrees Celsius on the previous night. Other areas like Pahalgam, Qazigund, Kokernag, and Kupwara also recorded low temperatures. Gulmarg emerged as the coldest place in the valley with a minimum temperature of minus 6 degrees Celsius, down from minus 3.2 degrees Celsius.
The weather forecast suggests a possibility of light to moderate rain/snow in several places in the Union Territory from Tuesday afternoon until February 1, with the likelihood of heavy snowfall in specific higher reaches.
The weather is expected to remain mainly dry with the possibility of very light snow at isolated higher reaches on February 2. From February 3 to 4, there is a chance of light to moderate rain or snow in various locations, followed by dry weather until February 10.
Meanwhile, the authorities in Ganderbal district Tuesday issued an avalanche warning in the wake of snowfall in the higher reaches of the valley.
A low-danger level avalanche warning was issued to the people of the central Kashmir district, officials said.
“Avalanche with low-danger level is likely to occur above 2,800 metres over Ganderbal in next 24 hours,” the officials said.
The people have been advised to take precautions and avoid venturing in the avalanche prone areas till further orders, they said. (With inputs from PTI)