Srinagar, Jan 30 : On the first day of 20-day-long ''Chilai Khurd'', the chilly weather conditions during the night have intensified as the mercury dipped due to open skies across Kashmir valley, where weather is expected to remain dry during the next couple of days. However, there was some improvement in the temperature during the day as bright sunshine greeted people in the afternoon in the valley.
The 40-day-long ''Chalai-Kalan'', the severest period of winter, which commenced from December 21 last year, ended on Wednesday. Meanwhile, ''Chilai Khurd'' which began from Thursday, would be followed by 10-day-long ''Chilai Bacha'' in the valley, where people were facing frequent power failure, coupled with bad roads.
Drass was the coldest place in the region as the mercury dipped about seven degrees from Wednesday and settled at minus 22.9 degrees Celsius, followed by border town of Kargil, where the night temperature settled at minus 19.1 degrees. A Meteorological department spokesperson told UNI that weather would remain dry during the next 24 hours in Kashmir, which would result in further dip in the night temperature. ''Light rain and snow is expected to occur on Friday at some places though weather will again become dry from Saturday onwards,'' he added.
After witnessing a slight dip in the night temperature, people woke up to a chilly Thursday morning in the summer capital, Srinagar. However, as the day progressed, sun came out from behind the clouds, resulting in some improvement in the maximum temperature though ice-cold winds continued.
The night temperature in the city settled at minus 0.8 degree, which is about 2 degree above normal. During this Chilai Kalan, Srinagar received heavy snowfall, breaking about 30 year old record. The world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, was the coldest place in the valley as the mercury dipped about 4 degree Celsius from Wednesday and settled at minus 11 degree. ''Bright sunshine greeted tourists, including foreigners, who are out on ski slopes enjoying different activities,'' a hotelier told UNI.
The mercury at world famous health resort of Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir, dipped about 8 degree from Wednesday and settled at minus 10.6 degree, which is slightly below normal. The night temperature at Qazigund, Kupwara in north Kashmir and tourist resort of Kokernag settled at minus 1.3 degree, minus 1.6 degree and minus 3.7 degree, respectively. (UNI)