Most of the Kashmir valley witnessed sub-zero temperatures on Wednesday night after the wet weather conditions improved and the sky cleared.
The weather office said that the coldest place in the valley on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday was the ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir where the mercury plunged to -11 degrees Celsius, around five notches below normal.
The tourist resort of Pahalgam in north Kashmir recorded -9 degrees Celsius while the temperature went to -6.5 degrees Celsius in Kokernag.
“The summer capital Srinagar witnessed -2.1 degrees Celsius, dipping further from zero degrees Celsius a day earlier while winter capital Jammu was slightly better at 2.9 degrees Celsius,” said an official of MeT centre in Srinagar.
Jammu division’s Bhaderwah and Batote regions recorded -3.8 degrees Celsius and -0.9 degrees Celsius respectively.
In the union territory of Ladakh, Leh was extremely cold at -14.2 degrees while Kargil was even colder at -17 degrees Celsius. The coldest place of the country Drass recorded -26.1 degrees Celsius.
Fresh snowfall was witnessed in parts of Jammu and Kashmir including in summer capital Srinagar on Tuesday, leading to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway for a few hours.
Meteorologist M Hussain Mir at Srinagar-based MeT department said that the weather will now remain dry up to January 3-4.
The 40-day intense winter period “chillai kalan” started in Kashmir valley on December 21 with sub-zero night temperatures across the region.
This year, the winter has already started on a harsh note as the temperature dropped to a record -6.6 degrees Celsius in summer capital Srinagar on December 19, the lowest temperature of the season and the second-coldest December night in the past decade.