‘Chillai Kalan – 40 day harshest winter period’ arrives on milder note

The first day of the 40-day harshest winter period ‘chillai kalan’ witnessed slight rain and an increase in temperature.
‘Chillai kalan’, which began today, will end on January 30. During this time, people keep their eyes on the mercury as life slows down and is dependent on the whims of the weather.
The use of ‘kangris’ and generators is frequent during ‘chillai kalan’ as electricity is erratic and activity comes to a near-standstill.
In villages, people use traditional methods to keep themselves warm. They cook on firewood and eat dried vegetables and pulses.
The period known for sub-zero temperatures and frozen lakes and rivers, however, started on a gentler note today, according to a Meteorological Department official.
“Due to overnight rain and a cloud cover, the minimum temperatures throughout Jammu and Kashmir improved on Thursday,” the official said, adding that there will not be any significant weather for two weeks.
The minimum temperature was 3.1°C in Srinagar. The slight increase in temperature brought relief to people from frozen water taps and biting morning cold.
“In Pahalgam, the minimum temperature rose above the freezing point and settled at 0.3°C. Gulmarg also showed an improvement from Wednesday’s minus 5°C to minus 2.8°C on Thursday,” the official said.
The minimum temperatures in Leh and Kargil towns of Ladakh were minus 9.2°C and minus 6.2°C, respectively.
The minimum temperature recorded in Jammu city was 11°C, Katra 12.1°C, Batote 5.4°C, Banihal 3.9°C, Bhaderwah 3.4°C and Udhampur 10.3°C.