Srinagar: The world famous Dal Lake and other water bodies were partially frozen as the mercury dipped further and settled several degrees below freezing point at majority of the places in Kashmir valley, including summer capital, Srinagar, which recorded coldest night of the season so far at minus 5.6 degree.
All the water bodies, including ponds and khuls, were frozen in Ladakh, where the border town of Leh was the coldest place in the region at minus 15.6 degree, followed by neighbouring town of Kargil, where the mercury settled at minus 10.8 degree.
However, sun greeted people in the valley on Sunday morning, improving the maximum temperature which settled above normal, though ice cold winds continued.
A Met department spokesperson told UNI that weather would remain dry during the next six days in Kashmir valley, which could result in further dip in the night temperature.
Parts of the Dal Lake, particularly near the banks and interior areas, were frozen after the summer capital, Srinagar, recorded the coldest night of the season so far at minus 5.6 degree. Against minus 4.2 degree recorded on Saturday, the night temperature in Srinagar was minus 5.6 degree, which is about 5 degree below normal.
The Shikarawalas were struggling to move their boats due to frozen water in the morning. However, as the day progressed frozen parts melted near banks though in the interior parts it remained frozen.
The Lake was frozen completely in 1965 when a jeep crossed over frozen surface from one end to another. Dal Lake water was again frozen in 1986, when the water body became major attraction for tourists and locals, who play ice hockey, cricket and took pictures in the middle of the lake.
Meanwhile, there was water shortage in many areas, particularly in the outskirts where taps were frozen. At some places people were seen trying to defreeze the frozen taps by burning wood. However, as the day progressed the frozen water de-froze.
He said the sky would be mainly dry during the next 24 hours when maximum and minimum temperature would be around 10 degree and minus 5 degree respectively in Srinagar.
After recording the coldest night of the season so far at minus 11.5 degree on Saturday, the night temperature improved about 2 degree in the ski resort of Gulmarg though it was still the coldest place in the valley. Against minus 11.5 degree recorded on Saturday, the night temperature in Gulmarg settled at 9.5 degree, which is about 5 degree below normal.
World famous health resort of Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir was second coldest place in the valley at minus 9.3 degree, which is over 5 degree below normal. The water level in river Lidder has dropped as snow on upper heights, source of water bodies, remained frozen.
The mercury at Qazigund, gateway to the valley, Kupwara in north Kashmir and tourist resort of Kukernag dipped and settled at minus 5.6 degree, minus 6 degree and minus 5.7 degree, respectively.