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The best time to visit Jammu and Kashmir is during summers. In the Vale of Kashmir, the summers are fresh and the nights are brisk. In Srinagar, the temperatures remain as high as 37 degree Celsius in summer and 11 degree Celsius in winter. As one reaches higher, these maximum temperatures reduces. There are great contrasts in the temperature between north and south facing slopes and even in summer many streams flow a few hours per day when the ice melts in the beds.

The climates of the various regions of Jammu and Kashmir are influenced mainly by position and altitude. While, Kashmir is affected by the monsoons, Ladakh is never touched by the monsoons. Even in the Vale of Kashmir the rainfall is reduced due to the influence of the Pir Panjal.

Jammu

Situated at a height of only 300 metres, Jammu has the three-season weather typical of the Indian plains. The best time of year in Jammu is the cool season from early October to about February-March. In October, immediately after the monsoon finishes, the weather will be cool and fresh, the skies clear and dust free. Later in the cool season, December and January in particular, it can get quite crisp with temperatures as low as 50 C at night.

In February-March the temperature starts to climb as you enter the hot season. By April, May and June it gets uncomfortably hot and dry. Since there has been no rain for some time the air is very dusty and the temperature scarcely seems to drop at night. Towards the end of the hot season the mercury sill sit at 400 C or above for days on end. Finally, the monsoon arrives around the beginning of July; the dust is immediately cleared out of the air although for some time the temperature change is merely from hot and dry to hot and sticky

Kashmir

At an altitude of over 1,000 metres the Kashmir Valley is much cooler than Jammu and it is at its best in the months of May-June for visiting to get a respite from the hot, airless plains. At this time the daily temperatures are around 200 C, a delightfully cool contrast to the 400 C temperatures common on the plains to the south. In July and August it can get rather hotter and the valley somewhat humid and still - the simple solution is to move out to one of the smaller resorts that lie around the valley rim. At places like Pahalgam, Gulmarg and Sonamarg the altitude ensures cooler weather even in mid summer

The Kashmir tourist season ends in October as minimum temperatures drop down below 100 C and from November to February night time temperatures often fall below freezing in Srinagar , snow falls and during cold years Dal Lake can actually freeze over. In the winter Gulmarg becomes India's number one ski resort. The spring thaw begins in February-March. Rainfall in Kashmir is fairly even year round. The mountains protect Kashmir from the worst of the monsoon

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