The cold tightened its grip on the Kashmir Valley on Saturday as the minimum temperatures stayed below the freezing and the Met Department predicted colder days ahead.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, registered a low of minus 1.9 degrees Celsius, a drop of over one degree as compared to minus 0.6 degree Celsius the previous night, a weather official in Srinagar said.

Qazigund, the gateway to the Kashmir Valley, recorded a low of minus 3.4 degrees Celsius, over three degrees down from the previous night’s low of 0.2 degree Celsius.

Leh, in the frontier region of Ladakh, was the coldest place in the state at minus 14.9 degrees Celsius as against minus 14.8 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The nearby Kargil town, which recorded the coldest night of the season at minus 15.7 degrees Celsius the previous night, registered an increase of one degree in the minimum temperature as the mercury settled at a low of minus 14.6 degrees Celsius.

The night temperature in Pahalgam hill resort, which serves as a base camp during the annual Amarnath yatra, also increased by over two degrees to settle at a low of minus 6.9 degrees Celsius as compared to the previous night’s minus 9.6 degrees Celsius.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded a minimum of minus 8.2 degrees Celsius as compared to minus 8.6 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The minimum in Kokernag, in south Kashmir, settled at minus 3.1 degrees Celsius last night, while the mercury in Kupwara, in north Kashmir, registered a low of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius.

The Kashmir Valley is currently going through ‘Chillai-Kalan’, considered as the harshest 40-day winter period, which started on December 21.

During this period, the valley and Ladakh region experience intense cold conditions and possibility of snowfall is also maximum and most frequent.

The MeT Department has said a fresh western disturbance would affect the state from December 31, raising the hope for a snow-clad New Year eve.