Srinagar: Leh and Kargil towns in Jammu and Kashmir recorded the coldest temperatures of the season Sunday at minus 17.3 and minus 16.4 degrees Celsius respectively, officials said.

Light snowfall has been forecast on New Year eve here.

Sonam Lotus, director of the Met office here, said the Kashmir Valley will see light snowfall with or without rain Dec 31 and Jan 1.

The minimum temperature was minus 3.7 degrees Celsius in Srinagar. It was minus 7.4 degrees Celsius in Pahalgam and minus 9.6 degrees Celsius in Gulmarg.

Jammu recorded a minimum of 3.5 degrees Celsius, four degrees below normal, Lotus said.

Icy winds blowing from snow-clad mountains into the plains of the Kashmir Valley have added to the intensity of the cold wave.

The traditional 40-day period of harsh winter cold known as the ‘Chila Kalan’ started Dec 21.

Doctors have asked elders and children in particular to wear adequate woollens to escape cold-triggered respiratory diseases.

“These can be prevented by avoiding sudden exposure to intense cold, wearing sufficient clothing and by taking other allied precautions,” said Nisar Ahmad Shah at the government medical college here.

Source: IANS