The minimum temperature in Kashmir division, including Ladakh region, remained several degrees below the freezing point today owing to dry weather. The MET Office has forecast mainly dry weather till January 20. "The weather is likely to remain mainly dry in Kashmir till 20 January, though there may be light snowfall in higher reaches and the minimum temperature will continue to remain several degrees below the freezing point, an official of the Meteorological Department said here. He said the possibility of moderate to heavy snowfall in the valley or Ladakh region over the next two weeks is less. The night temperature across the valley, except in Gulmarg, rose last night, while it went marginally down in Ladakh region. Leh town, in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded the minimum temperature of minus 15.2 degrees Celsius, compared to minus 15 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said. Leh continues to be the coldest recorded place in the state. He said the data for nearby Kargil town was not available. Srinagar the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir recorded the minimum temperature of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius last night marginally up from minus 4.6 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said. The night temperature in Qazigund, in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius up from yesterdays minus 5 degrees Celsius. The neighbouring Kokernag town saw mercury increase by a degree to settle at a low of minus 1.7 degrees Celsius last night, the official said. He said Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.7 degrees Celsius up from minus 5.3 degrees Celsius the previous night. The official said the night temperature in Pahalgam - the famous health resort which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath Yatra increased from the low of minus 6.1 degrees Celsius the previous night to settle at the low of minus 4.8 degrees Celsius last night. Gulmarg - the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir - recorded the minimum temperature of minus 5.degrees Celsius down from minus 4.5 degrees Celsius yesterday. The resort was the only place in the valley where the night temperature decreased last night. Kashmir is currently under the grip of Chillai-Kalan a 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably. It ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in the valley. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long Chillai- Khurd (small cold) and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold).
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