The Metrological Department Thursday issued an advisory-cum-warning, saying an active western disturbance from Saturday is likely to disrupt air and surface transport besides triggering avalanches in upper reaches.
“An active Western Disturbance is most likely to affect the state and adjoining areas from January 19 to 25 with main activity during January 20 to 23 and gradual decrease thereafter,” reads a weather advisory issued by Director Metrological department Kashmir, Sonam Lotus.
He said under the influence of this system, moderate to heavy snow/rain is expected at widespread places of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh region.
“Some places may receive very heavy rain/snow during this period. Light snowfall will commence at a few places of Kashmir on January 19 forenoon and increase in intensity and distribution thereafter,” Lotus said.
He said the heavy snowfall may lead to disruption of surface and air transportation in the Valley.
“Heavy precipitation may also cause avalanches in higher reaches and landslides and water logging in low lying areas,” Lotus said.
The farmers were advised to take all precautionary measures to avoid losses due to heavy snow/rain.
“There will be significant fall in day temperature and slight rise in night temperature,” Lotus said.
A MeT official said Srinagar recorded night temperature of minus 2.1 degrees Celsius.
He said Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius.
The Kokernag town registered a low of minus 2.0 degrees Celsius Wednesday night.
The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at minus 1.5 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 10 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 5.1 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said Leh recorded a low of minus 12 degrees Celsius while mercury in nearby Kargil settled at minus 20.2 degrees Celsius.
Drass, the second coldest inhabited place in the world, was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir at a low of minus 22.0 degrees Celsius.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' – the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
'Chillai-Kalan' ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).