Srinagar witnesses coldest night, Drass freezes at minus 29, Kargil minus 21.2 degree

Srinagar, Dec 19 (UNI) Major parts of the world famous Dal Lake, particularly near banks and interior areas, were frozen after summer capital, Srinagar, recorded coldest night of the season so far when the minimum temperature witnessed further dip and settled at minus 6.6 degree against earlier lowest minus 6.4 degree on Thursday.

There was no respite from the bone-chilling weather in Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh, where Drass, the second coldest place in the world, recorded minus 29 degree while it was minus 21.1 degree minimum temperature at border town of Kargil on Srinagar-Leh national highway which remained closed due to accumulation of snow and slippery road conditions.

Water in the Dal Lake was frozen near banks and interior parts as Shikarawalas and houseboat owners woke up this morning. Water supply was also affected in majority areas in Srinagar, particularly in the uptown and outskirts, as taps were frozen after the minimum temperature recorded further drop and settled at minus 6.6 degree, coldest of this winter so far. The earlier coldest was on Thursday when the minimum temperature was recorded minus 6.4 degree. Water on roads, nallahs and drains was also frozen this morning.

However, as the day progressed frozen water in some areas defreeze after sun came out though the intensity of the heat was very low due to icy cold winds.

The Met spokesman said the mercury will further drop in Srinagar during the next 24 hours when the sky would be mainly clear to partly cloudy and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 10 degree and minus 7 degree respectively.

He said due to clear sky the minimum temperature goes down while the day improves. However, when the sky is cloudy night temperature improves and day goes down, he added.

The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, which witnessed heavy rush of skiers, tourists and adventure lovers, mostly locals, after two winters, recorded about two degree improvement in the minimum temperature. Against yesterdays minus 11 degree, it was minus 9.2 degree today. A number of skiing courses are being held at Gulmarg, where the world class ski slopes are under several feet of snow. Gandola Cable Car (GCC), taking tourists and skiers to highest skiing point Affarwat from base camp was added attraction for visitors.

There was drop in the mercury at Pahalgam, which serves base camp for annual yatra to holy Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas. Against yesterdays minus 8.9 degree minimum it was minus 9.5 degree, freezing water bodies and water taps.

He said Kupwara in north Kashmir and Qazigund, gateway of Kashmir on Srinagar-Jammu national highway also recorded drop in the minimum temperature. It was 6 degree each Kupwara and Qazigund against Friday’s minus 4.8 degree and minus 4.9 degree respectively.

Majority water bodies in most parts in Ladakh region remained frozen. Water supply has also been disrupted in most areas after taps and main water supply pipes were also frozen. However, authorities are providing water to people through tankers in town while in far flung and remote areas, people are using spring water which remains hot during winter and cold in summer.

Met spokesman said that Kargil after recording minus 7 degree during the day on Friday, the minimum temperature dropped further and settled at minus 21.1 degree. Similarly at Leh the day temperature on yesterday was minus3.2 degree while the night temperature was minus 16.4 degree. Drass recorded minus 29 degree minimum temperature while upper heights, including near the Line of Control (LoC) the mercury was between minus 25 degree to 35 degree.

Met spokesman said the sky would be partly cloudy and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be around minus 1 degree and minus 10 degree at Leh during the next 24 hours.

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