Srinagar, Dec 11: The higher reaches, including world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, experienced fresh snowfall while the summer capital, Srinagar and other plains were lashed with rain since early Monday morning, resulting in surge in the night temperature and drop during the day.
The Meteorological department has already issued a forecast for moderate to heavy snowfall from Monday till December 15 in Jammu and Kashmir, where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has issued directions to divisional and district authorities to remain on high alert to meet any weather challenge.
The Deputy Commissioners across Kashmir valley have also set up Control Rooms (CRs) and help-lines to provide immediate help and assistance to people during the hour of any emergency.
Meanwhile, due to snowfall, dozens of villages, particularly far flung and remote areas besides near the Line of Control (LoC) were cut off with their respective district headquarters in Kashmir valley on Monday.
The national highway, connecting Ladakh with Kashmir, has also been closed for winter months while traffic on 86-km-long historic Mughal road was also suspended due to fresh snowfall on Monday.
The slopes at world famous ski resort of Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, came to life, much to the delight to people associated with tourism, due to first heavy snowfall since last night, a hotel owner said over phone.
It was snowing on the slopes, where skiers and tourists were out since early this morning enjoying it as everything, including tree and roof tops besides roads and open spaces, had turned white. The upper heights, including Afarwat, the highest skiing point connected with Cable Car, Kongdori, also known as seven springs and Khilanmarg received moderate to heavy snowfall since last evening. The tourism department has already announced a number of winter events to be held at Gulmarg. The night temperature at the ski resort dipped over 2 degree from Sunday and settled at minus 2.4 degree, which is still below normal.
The other heights in north Kashmir, including the areas near LoC, also received fresh snowfall, forcing authorities to suspend traffic to dozens of far flung and remote villages from their respective district headquarters.
“It was snowing since last night,” officials said, adding plains, including Kupwara, Bandipora, Handwara, Baramulla and Sopore received rain. The mercury at Kupwara surged about 4 degree from Sunday and settled at 1.9 degree.
However, there was no lowering of guards on the LoC, where militants waiting in launch pads, are trying to infiltrate into this side from Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK). Troops will remain on high alert to foil any infiltration attempt, Army officials said.
All heights in south Kashmir also received fresh snowfall since early this morning.
At famed health resort of Pahalgam, it was raining, a local resident said, adding trees and open fields had turned white, clearly visible from a distance, in the upper reaches. Moderate to heavy snowfall was also recorded at holy Amarnath cave shrine and its periphery, Panjterni, Sheshnag, Pisso top, Mahaguns and Chandanwari. The night temperature at Pahalgam witnessed major improvement as mercury surged and settled at 1.5 degree, against minus 2.1 degree recorded on Sunday.
The historic Mughal road also received fresh snowfall, forcing authorities to suspend traffic. It was snowing at Pir-ki-Gali, Hairpora Shopian and other heights in Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama.
Despite rain the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was through for traffic. Qazigund, gateway to Kashmir valley, also witnessed major improvement in the night temperature. Against minus 2.1 degree on Sunday, the night temperature at Qazigund was 4 degree.
Upper reaches in central Kashmir district of Ganderbal also received fresh snowfall while plains received rain. Sonamarg and other heights on Srinagar-Leh national highway, closed for winter months, also received fresh snowfall. Border town of Kargil and Drass, the world’s second coldest place after Siberia, also recorded snowfall. Upper reaches of Kangan also received fresh snowfall.
Even though there was an improvement of 6 degree from Sunday, Leh was the coldest place in the region at minus 3.7 degree. The mercury at border town of Kargil witnessed an improvement of about 9 degree and settled at 0.1 degree.
The upper reaches in central Kashmir district of Budgam also received fresh snowfall while plains lashed rain.
The summer capital, Srinagar, and other adjoining areas received rain since early this morning resulting in drop in the maximum temperature though the minimum temperature had witnessed surge. Against minus 1.2 degree recorded on Sunday, the night temperature at Srinagar was 3.1 degree.