|Early Times Report|
Srinagar, Jan 20: There was still no respite from chilly weather conditions as the mercury settled several degrees below normal in Kashmir valley, where a fresh spell of snow is predicted from Friday.
However, bright sunshine greeted people late in the morning, resulting in some respite from chill though ice-cold winds from snow-clad mountains continued in the valley, where the summer capital, Srinagar and tourist resort of Pahalgam were the only two places which witnessed some improvement in the night temperature.
A Met department spokesperson told UNI that weather will remain dry during the next two days in Kashmir valley. “Cold wave will continue till Thursday due to dry weather and open skies,” he said. He, however, said a fresh Western Disturbance (WD), which originated from the Arabian Sea and is approaching the region through Afghanistan and Pakistan, will hit the region on Friday. “Under the influence of this WD, light snow is predicted on Friday at some places. The system will intensify, resulting in light to moderate snow at most places on Saturday and Sunday,” he said, adding heavy snow is predicted at isolated places on January 23. After witnessing an improvement of degree in the night temperature from Tuesday, people in the summer capital, Srinagar, woke up to a chilly and foggy Wednesday morning. However, as the day progressed, the sun came out, resulting in some improvement, though ice-cold winds continued in the city.
World-famous Dal Lake and other water-bodies remained frozen in Srinagar, where authorities have warned people, particularly youth and children, not to walk on the frozen water. Hospitals in the city have also witnessed a heavy influx of patients with broken bones following slipping on frozen interior and link roads. Against minus 7 degree Celsius recorded on Tuesday, the night temperature in the city settled at minus 6 degree, which is 4 degrees below normal.
Qazigund, the gateway to the valley, remained the coldest place in the valley for the third successive day on Wednesday even as the mercury dipped marginally and settled at minus 8.7 degree, which is five degrees below normal.
The world-famous ski resort of Gulmarg was the only place in the valley where the minimum temperature settled above normal. Against minus 6.2 degrees recorded on Tuesday, the night temperature at the ski resort settled at minus 6.5 degree, which is about two degrees above normal. “All the hotels in the resort are booked and people associated with tourism are very happy as they are doing brisk business,” a hotelier from Gulmarg told UNI over the phone.
He said tourists are taking advantage of sunny days in the ski resort and enjoying different snow-related activities. “All the ski slopes have been thrown open for tourists and other adventure sports lovers,” he added.
The night temperature at the world-famous health resort of Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir, improved and settled at minus 8.3 degrees, against 8.2 degrees recorded on Tuesday.