Several parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh reeled under cold wave conditions on Saturday, with Srinagar recording the coldest night of the season at minus 5.8° Celsius.

The mercury in Leh and Drass in Ladakh plummeted to minus 19.1° Celsius and minus 28.6° Celsius respectively, a Metrological Department official said.

Water supply lines froze at several places in Srinagar as the minimum temperature in the city settled at minus 5.8° Celsius on Friday night. It was minus 5.6° Celsius the previous night.

The Metrological Department has forecast rains and snowfall in Kashmir on the New Year’s eve that is likely to bring respite from the cold wave conditions in the valley.

“There is a possibility of light rains or snowfall across Kashmir for a few days from December 31,” the official said.

He said while there is forecast of scattered rains or snowfall on December 31 and January 1, fairly-widespread rainfall or snow is likely on January 2 which may continue till January 3.

The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 7.5° Celsius, up from the previous night’s minus 9.5° Celsius, the official said.

The night temperature at Pahalgam resort, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, settled at a low of minus 11.2° Celsius as against minus 12.0 degrees Celsius on Friday.

Pahalgam, in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, was the coldest recorded place in the valley, he added.

The official said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 10.8° Celsius.

South Kashmir’s Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 7.6° Celsius, while the minimum temperature in North Kashmir’s Kupwara settled at minus 6.3° Celsius, the official said.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent and the temperature drops considerably.

‘Chillai-Kalan’ began on December 21 and will continue till January 31. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).