3 chillas to end on Feb 29; weather improves in Kashmir

Srinagar: After a harsh winter, the weather has finally started improving in the Kashmir valley, where the 70-day-long three chillas will end on February 29.
Considerable improvement was recorded in the minimum temperature in the valley and Ladakh region though the sky was partly cloudy during the day today.
People in the valley, after witnessing a harsh winter after about two decades as the temperature dropped by many degrees, freezing world famous Dal Lake, other water bodies and water tapes.
The 40-day-long Chalai-e-Kalan, the coldest period of winter, which started on December 21 with fresh snowfall on upper reaches, resulting in severe cold, followed by a 20-day-Chalai-e-Khurd from January 30 and 10 day-long Chalai-e-Bacha, the last of three chillas which will end on February 29.
The Kalan witnessed heavy snowfall resulting in severe cold because of drop in the minimum and maximum temperature, freezing water bodies, including Dal Lake in the city and attracting large number of tourists and locals.
However, this added to the woos of the common people who faced water shortage as taps were also frozen.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only road linking the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country also remained closed during most part of Kalan and Khurd chillas, resulting in acute shortage of essentials, particularly cooking gas. The prices of essentials had also gone up and the people used more dry vegetables and pulses.
According to experts, the Earth goes dead during Kalan and farmers do not sow or plant during this period.
However, with the help of agriculturalists, they have now constructed green houses to grow vegetables and flowers in the valley during this period.
Though all the three chillas will end on February 29, the weather has witnessed a considerable improvement. The sky remained partly cloudy and there is still a forecast of rain or snow at isolated places in Jammu and Kashmir during the next 24 hours.
The forecast said there would be no large change in the weather during the subsequent two days, a Met department spokesman said here this afternoon.
He said in Srinagar, the partly sky will become generally cloudy tomorrow though the maximum and minimum will remain above normal.
After recording minus 1 degrees Celsius temperature yesterday, three degrees below normal, it was 4.3 degrees this morning in Srinagar, three degree above normal. The lowest during this winter was minus 7.8 degrees in January, when Dal Lake and taps were frozen.
The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, also witnessed about five degrees increase in the minimum thought it was still below the freezing point. Against yesterday’s minus ten degree, it was minus 5 degrees this morning.
Pahalgam, the base camp of Holy Amarnath cave and famed health resort in south Kashmir also witnessed more than five notch increase in the minimum temperature. It was 5.1 degrees this morning against yesterday’s minus 0.8 degrees.
Similarly other places in the Kashmir valley witnessed considerable increament in the minimum temperature, much to the relief of common people.
Ladakh region, which remained cut off from the rest of the country after Zojila pass was closed due to snowfall on December last year, also witnessed an increase in the minimum temperature though it was still below freezing point.
It was minus 2.6 degrees against yesterday’s minus 4.4 degrees in Leh, where the lowest was minus 23.4 degree, recorded on January 31.
Similarly, two notch increase was recorded in border town of Kargil on Srinagar-Leh highway. Today the minimum was minus 4.4 degrees against yesterdays minus 6.6 degrees in the town, where the coldest night was recorded on January 31 when the minimum dropped to minus 25 degrees.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here