|Early Times Report|
Srinagar, Feb 8: Weather turned pleasant as bright sunshine greeted people though ice cold winds continued on Saturday in the summer capital, Srinagar, and other parts of Kashmir valley, where the night temperature dipped and settled below normal due to open skies. However, fresh spell of snow is predicted for two days next week under the influence of a Western Disturbance (WD), which originated from the Arabian sea and will hit Jammu and Kashmir on February 11.
Meanwhile, there was no respite from chilly weather conditions in Ladakh, where all water-bodies -- including lakes and streams -- remained frozen due to several degrees' below freezing point temperature. The people in the newly created Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh are mostly dependent on hot water springs during winter. The border town of Drass was the coldest place in the region at minus 29.1 degree, followed by Kargil, where the mercury settled at minus 19.4 degree.
A Met department spokesperson said that weather is expected to remain dry till February 11 in the valley, which could result in further improvement in the maximum temperature though the mercury during the night would dip due to open skies.
However, he said a fresh WD, which originated from the Arabian Sea and is approaching the region though Afghanistan and Pakistan, will hit J&K on February 11. ''Under the influence of this WD, light to moderate snow could occur at some places in J&K on February 11 and February 12,'' he added.
After witnessing a dip of about degree in the night temperature, people woke up to a chilly Saturday morning in the summer capital, Srinagar. However, as the day progressed, the Sun came out from behind the clouds, resulting in major improvement in the day temperature though ice cold winds continued. Against minus 2.7 degree recorded on Friday, the mercury in Srinagar improved and settled at minus 3.9 degree, which below normal. The maximum temperature in the city on Friday was about 2 degree above normal.
World famous ski resort of Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, was the coldest place in the valley after the mercury dipped about a degree and settled at minus 11.4 degree. ''After witnessing further dip in the night temperature, the weather witnessed improvement as sun came out from behind the clouds on Saturday afternoon in Gulmarg, which is famous for its ski slopes and quality of snow. Tourists, including foreigners, were out on ski slopes enjoying different activities,'' a hotelier said.