Jammu recorded the hottest day on Sunday, with the mercury rising to 38.6 degrees Celsius – eight notches above the average during this season, an official said.

The Meteorological Department announced a one-off heatwave in the region as the minimum temperature in the city also settled 3.9 degrees above normal at 21.7 degrees Celsius.

Most parts of Jammu and Kashmir have recorded hotter days over the past month, with Srinagar recording a high of 27.2 degrees Celsius – 8.7 notches above normal on Sunday. On the other hand, the city recorded a low of 10.0 degrees Celsius, also 3.1 degrees above average.

Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, recorded a day temperature of 35.6 degrees Celsius and a night temperature of 20.2 degrees Celsius, the MeT Department official said.

Director Meteorological department Sonam Lotus said the Union Territory had recorded a deficient rainfall of 80 per cent due to the absence of any strong western disturbance in March this year.

“Jammu city received only 2.1 mm against normal of 68 mm and Srinagar city received 21.3 mm of rainfall as against normal of 117.6 mm (in March). However, this is not the first time below normal rainfall has been recorded in J&K,” Lotus said.

He said that the absence of a strong western disturbance and a stable atmosphere caused the weather to remain fair and mainly clear on most occasions, leading to the early onset of spring and above normal temperatures compared to the last few years.

The official said the mean temperature in Jammu city in March was 23.3 degrees Celsius which is quite high but not unusual, as the mean temperature even touched 24 degrees Celsius in 2004 and 2010.

The mean temperature in Srinagar city in March was 13.7 degrees Celsius which too is high but not unusual, as it has been recorded to have touched 13.6 and 13.7 degrees Celsius in 2004 and 2010, he said.

Lotus said a brief spell of light rain is likely between April 13 and 14 at scattered places, but mostly the weather is expected to remain dry for the next week.

Qazigund recorded a low of 7.2°C against 7.4°C on the previous night while the temperature was above normal by 1.5°C “Kokernag, also in South Kashmir, recorded a low of 8.8°C against 9.4°C the last night.

It was 3.4°C more than normal during this time of the season for the place; Pahalgam, the famous resort in South Kashmir, recorded a low of 2.6°C against 6.0°C on the last night. Officials said the temperature was 0.4°C above normal for the place,” officials said.

Jammu similarly recorded a low of 21.7°C against 23.1°C on the previous night, which is said to be 3.9°C above normal. Banihal recorded a low of 14.8°C, Batote 14.8°C and Bhaderwah 10.2°C.