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Dal Lake freezes, Srinagar records coldest night in 30 years as severe cold wave grips Kashmir, India

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Kashmir's Dal Lake froze on Thursday, January 14, 2021, while capital Srinagar recorded its coldest night in 30 years as a severe cold wave gripped the valley.

The summer capital registered a low of -8.4 °C (16.9°F), the coldest since 1991 when temperatures dropped to -11.8 °C (10.8 °F), according to the local weather department. In 1995, the minimum temperature was -11.3 °C (11.7 °F).

The lowest recorded minimum temperature in Srinagar was -14.4 °C (6 °F) set in 1893. 

Pahalgam, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra in southern Kashmir, registered a minimum temperature of -11.1 °C (12 °F). The resort was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir. In Gulmarg, the minimum temperature was -7 °C (19.4 °F).

The rest of the valley is reeling from severe cold. As a result, a major part of Dal Lake froze, as well as several other water bodies.

A thick layer of ice has settled over several roads elsewhere in the valley, creating difficult driving conditions.

Kashmir is currently under Chillai-Kalan (intense cold wave)– the 40-day harshest winter period when intense cold wave grips the region. While the phenomenon began on December 21 and is set to end on January 31, the cold is expected to continue with a 20-day-long Chillai-Khurd (small cold) and a 10-day-long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold).

Featured image credit: Greater Kashmir/YouTube

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