Cold tightened its grip on Jammu and Kashmir as the night temperature plummeted to season’s lowest of minus 17.3 degrees Celsius in Leh in Ladakh region, with the MeT Department predicting snowfall on New Year’s Eve.

Leh recorded the coldest night of the winter season so far as the minimum temperature dropped to minus 17.3 degrees Celsius, compared to minus 14.9 degrees Celsius on Saturday night, an official of the MeT Department here said on Sunday.

It was the coldest recorded place followed by the nearby Kargil town which recorded a minimum of minus 16.4 degrees Celsius.

This was also the lowest temperature in Kargil this season, the official said.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, registered a drop of almost two degrees in the minimum temperature as the mercury settled at a low of minus 3.7 degrees Celsius, against minus 1.9 degree Celsius on Saturday night.

Qazigund -- the gateway town to Kashmir Valley -- recorded a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius, compared to last night’s low of 3.4 degrees Celsius.

The night temperature in Pahalgam hill resort, which serves as a base camp during the annual Amarnath yatra, settled at a low of minus 7.4 degrees Celsius, compared to the previous night’s minus 6.9 degrees Celsius.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 9.6 degrees Celsius, as compared to minus 8.2 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The minimum in Kokernag, in south Kashmir, settled at minus 5.2 degrees Celsius last night, a drop of over two degrees from the previous night’s minus 3.1 degrees Celsius.

Kupwara, in north Kashmir, registered a low of minus 3.7 degrees Celsius, a drop of over one degree from minus 2.5 degrees Celsius.

The Kashmir valley is currently going through ‘Chillai-Kalan’, considered as the harshest 40-day winter period, which began 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 the weather would remain cold and dry over the next 24 hours and there is possibility of rains or snowfall on December 31.