Srinagar: The intense cold wave conditions continued in Kashmir on Thursday as mercury settled several degrees below the freezing point across the valley, officials said here.

Gulmarg, the famous skiing resort in Baramulla district, recorded a low of minus 11.0 degrees Celsius, marking the minimum temperature at or below minus 10 degrees Celsius for five consecutive nights, the officials said.

Pahalgam in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, which serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a low of minus 9.4 degrees Celsius, they said.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, also recorded sub zero temperature on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday as mercury settled at minus 2.7 degrees Celsius.

The officials said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded a minimum of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius, while the nearby south Kashmir town of Kokernag recorded a low of minus 6.3 degrees Celsius.

The mercury at Kupwara in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius.

The MeT office said the weather is likely to stay largely dry over the next few days.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of the 40-day harshest winter period known as 'Chilla-i-Kalan', which began on December 21.

It is a period when cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies as well as the water supply lines.

The chances of snowfall are the most frequent during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy to very heavy snowfall.

The 'Chilla-i-Kalan' will end on January 31, but the cold wave continues with a 20-day-long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day-long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).

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