Mercury plummeted in Kashmir Valley on Thursday after a slight respite for few days, dropping further below the freezing point with Kargil recording a new low of minus 15.8 degrees celsius this season.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 4.8 degrees celsius, down by almost three degrees from the previous night's minus 2 degrees celsius, a spokesman of the MET department said.
The night temperatures in the city had seen an upward trend during the last four days.
The mercury in Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley in south, decreased by two degrees to settle at a low of minus 5.0 degrees Celsius, he said.
Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir, which serves as a base-camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, registered a minimum temperature of minus 7.2 degrees Celsius, a down by almost four degrees from the previous night's minus 3.5 degrees celsius, the spokesman said.
He said the minimum temperature in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg settled at minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, slightly down from the previous night's minus 3.2 degrees celsius.
Gulmarg was the centre of the New Year celebrations in the Valley with tourists and locals thronging the resort for the annual event which marks the advent of the new year amid snow.
However, there was some disappointment as there has been no fresh snowfall since December 23.
The MeT department has forcast that a fresh western disturbance was likely to affect the state from January 3 onwards. The night temperatures in Kupwara in north Kashmir, and The night temperatures in Kupwara in north Kashmir, and Kokernag in south also decreased slightly to settle at the
minimum of minus 5.3 degrees and minus 4.5 degrees celsius respectively.
He said the minimum temperature in Leh, in Ladakh region, settled at minus 14.8 degrees celsius, down from the previous night's low of minus 14.4 degrees celsius.
Kargil, also in Ladakh region, was the coldest recorded place in the state as the mercury there plunged to the season's low of minus 15.8 degrees celsius compared to the previous night's minus 13.0 degrees celsius.
Kashmir Valley is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' - the 40-day harshest winter period, which begins on December 21.
The chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent during this period and the weather remains cold as the day temperature also dips drastically, freezing most of the water bodies including the famous Dal Lake.
Though 'Chillai-Kalan' would end on January 31, the winter continues after that. The 40-day period would be followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai Bachha' (baby cold).