The weather has finally improved in the Kashmir valley, where the 40-day-long 'Chalai-Kalan', the coldest period of winter, ends tonight.
However, this will be followed by 20-day 'Chalai-Kharud' and 10-day 'Chalai Bacha', which are not being considered so cold.
A Met department spokesman said the weather will remain dry during the next 24 hours in the Valley, where the maximum temperature will improve but the minimum temperature will be below normal due to clear sky.
There will be no large change during the subsequent two days, he said.
With less than 12 hours left, the 40-day-long 'Chalai-Kalan' will end tonight.
It is believed that during this period, nothing could be cultivated. However, due to introduction of latest technology and green house effect, vegetables are cultivated in winter also.
For the coldest period of the winter, which is ending on Tuesday people had stored essentials, particularly dry vegetables, fish and pulses period when the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway also remained closed for weeks.
However, with the improvement in the road connectivity, fresh vegetables are available round the year, including in winter, though costly. Despite fresh vegetables, people are still using dry vegetables and fish during the winter.
This time the highway, connecting the Valley with the rest ofthe country was closed on three occasions though for short period due to snowfall.
'Kalan' will be followed by 20 day's Kharud and 10 days Chalai Bacha, which are not being considered so cold.
After witnessing below normal temperature during the night, people woke up to a sunny morning in the Valley, the last day of Kalan.
The spokesman said the maximum temperature will improve further but the night temperature will remain below normal.
The summer capital, Srinagar, recorded minus 1.6 degree celsius minimum temperature, 0.6 degree below normal. It was also colder than yesterday when it was minus 0.4 degree, he said.
Pahalgam, the world famous health resort in south Kashmir, was coldest in the Valley after the minimum dropped to minus 7.1 degree, two degree colder than yesterday. However, it was being considered normal during this time of the winter, the Met
There was more than two degree drop in the minimum temperature at Qazigund, where truckers and drivers were seen defreezing diesel in their tanks this morning before leaving for Jammu as today it was down convoy on the highway.
The spokesman said the night temperature at Qazigund was minus 4.6 degree against yesterday's minus 2.4 degree.
Kokernag, also a tourist resort in south Kashmir, witnessed minus 5.6 degree, 2.6 degree below normal.
There was however, a slight improvement in the night temperature in Kupwara where it settled at minus 2.6 degree, witnessing an improvement of 0.3 degree.
Gulmarg, world famous ski resort in north Kashmir, also recorded two degree above normal temperature during the night though it was still below freezing point.
Despite minus 6.3 degree against the normal of minus 8 degree during this period of the winter, tourists, skiers and adventure lovers are visiting the ski resort daily from different parts of the country and abroad.
The Met spokesman said the weather report of border town of Kargil and Leh in Ladakh region was not available.