-1.5°C in Kufri, Srinagar shivers at -5.8°C
The maximum temperature in Himachal was two to three degrees below normal while the minimum temperature was one to two degrees below normal.
The weather was mostly dry throughout the state and severe cold was observed in Una district. Dense fog was also observed in isolated parts of Una, Kangra and Mandi.
Seven prominent towns including Sundernagar, Solan and Bhuntar shivered at below sub-zero temperatures in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday with the state’s lowest temperature for the day recorded in Keylong at -11.5°C, the MeT department said.
Berthin in district Bilaspur recorded 21.2°C and was the hottest in the state.
The MeT office has predicted snowfall in the middle and higher hills of the state from December 31 to January 2.
Kalpa in Kinnaur district registered a low of minus 1.8°C, while Manali, Sundernagar, Kufri, Bhuntar, Seobagh and Solan shivered at -2.6, -1.9, -1.5, -1.3, -1.2 and -1°C respectively, Manmohan Singh, director, state meteorological department, said.
The minimum temperatures in Shimla, Dharamshala and Dalhousie were 4°C, 2.2°C and 5.1°C while the maximum were 14.4°C, 10.2°C and 11.2°C, respectively.After witnessing a dry Christmas this year, Himachal Pradesh will be receiving fresh snowfall and rainfall on New Year’s Eve.
Singh said “Snowfall is very likely to occur at middle and higher hills of the state on December 31 and will continue throughout the state till January 3.”
The weather office has predicted fresh snowfall in Kashmir on the New Year’s Eve and rain in Jammu.
Officials of the meteorological department said that a western disturbance will hit Jammu and Kashmir on January 1.
“From the night of January 1 up to January 2, we expect light snow in the plains of Kashmir. There will be rain in Jammu,” said director MeT, Sonam Lotus.
He said that the weather will improve from January 3. “This will be at-least sixth spell of snowfall and rains in J&K since the beginning of November,” he said.
The 40-day intense winter period – Chillai Kalan – started in Kashmir valley from December 21 even as the winter has prolonged this season after five spells of snowfall and rains already since November 6.
“Till December 31, dry and cold weather conditions will continue,” Lotus said.
Normally, Kashmir’s winter pans out in three stages starting with 40 day intense period from December 21(locally called Chillai Kalan) followed by 20 more days which are less intense(Chillai Khurd) and then lastly 10 days of mild cold (Chille Bache).
Between November 6-8, Kashmir received season’s first heavy snowfall, which had affected life across the valley and disrupted air and road traffic. More rain and snowfall followed on November 14 and 21, bringing down the temperatures and closing the main highways.Figures from MeT department reveal that November 7 witnessed a record snowfall of 76.8mm in Srinagar, the highest since 2000. Overall there was 226.4mm of precipitation in November, again a record in recent years. Light snow and rains lashed mountains of Kashmir between Dec 11 and 14. On Friday, the upper reaches of valley as well as capital Srinagar again received light snowfall.
As against monsoon in rest of the country, Kashmir mostly owes its precipitation to winds blowing from the Mediterranean Sea which is locally called ‘Western Disturbance’. The wind patterns in Atlantic Ocean also play their part.
Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar witnessed coldest night of the season on Friday recording a minimum temperature of -5.8°C. The coldest place was Drass at -28.6°C followed by Leh at 19.1°C on Friday. Gulmarg shivered at -7.5°C while Pahalgam recorded a temperature of -11.2°C .
“The maximum temperature in Srinagar on Friday was 9.1°C while it was 7.9°C at 2pm on Saturday. It is expected to increase as the day ends,” said an official of MeT.
The snowfall in November had damaged apple and saffron crop in many parts of Kashmir and uprooted trees had caused losses to growers. Nine people, including three army porters and a policeman were killed in snow related incidents.
Atleast 10 soldiers have also been killed in incidents of snow avalanches in the past two months in Kashmir.