Srinagar, Dec 21: The traditional 40-day long period of harsh winter known as the 'Chillai Kalan' began in the Kashmir Valley on Thursday.
The period known for sub-zero temperatures, frozen lakes and rivers however, started on a gentler note, according to a Met Department official.
"Due to overnight rains and cloud cover, the minimum temperatures throughout Jammu and Kashmir have improved on Thursday," the official said
"The minimum temperature was 3.1 degrees Celsius in Srinagar. This has brought relief to locals from frozen water taps and biting morning cold.
"In Pahalgam, the minimum temperature rose above the freezing point to 0.3 degrees Celsius. Gulmarg also showed improvement from Wednesday's minus 5 to a minus 2.8 degrees Celsius on Thursday," the official added.
The minimum temperatures in Leh and Kargil towns were minus 9.2 and minus 6.2 degrees Celsius.
Jammu city recorded 11, Katra 12.1, Batote 5.4, Bannihal 3.9, Bhaderwah 3.4 and Udhampur 10.3 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperatures.