Day 2: Snowfall continues in Kashmir

Day 2: Snowfall continues in Kashmir
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Srinagar, Jan 31: Intermittent snowfall continued for the second successive day on Thursday in the valley, including world famous ski resort of Gulmarg and summer capital, Srinagar, resulting in chilly weather conditions during the day even as ‘Chillai-Kalan’, the 40-day harshest period of winter in Kashmir, ended on Wednesday.
However, the night temperature remained above normal due to overcast conditions across Kashmir valley, where more snow is predicted during the next 24 hours.
A Met department spokesperson said that widespread light to heavy rain and snow would occur during the next 24 hours in Kashmir valley under the influence of a Western Disturbance (WD), which is active in the region. “The weather is expected to remain wet till January 5,” he added.
The cycle of wet weather and prediction of more snowfall has brought cheers to the hoteliers and other players of tourism industry as it will help in increasing the footfall of tourists in Kashmir valley, particularly in Gulmarg, which is a world class winter destination.
Meanwhile, authorities have issued a weather warning in avalanche prone areas in Kashmir division, including Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh, during the next 24 hours.
Gulmarg, where the ski slopes are under several feet of snow, received intermittent snowfall since Wednesday morning, much to the delight of skiers and tourists. The night temperature in the ski resort improved 1. 5 degrees from Wednesday and settled at minus 6 degree, which is about a degree above normal.
Sophisticated machines were pressed into service and about three to four inches of snow accumulated on the Tangmarg-Gumarg road was cleared to make the ski resort, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, accessible to tourists.
“Tourists are having a time of their life as the ski resort received intermittent snowfall since Wednesday morning. It didn’t snow during the night, but since morning it has been snowing,” a hotelier said.
However, he said despite chilly weather conditions, tourists are enjoying different snow activities, including skiing. The ski resort was the only place in the valley, where the maximum temperature was 2 degree below freezing point.
World famous health resort of Pahalgam, about 100 from here in south Kashmir, also received fresh snowfall since Wednesday morning, resulting in dip in the day temperature. However, the night temperature improved further and settled at minus 2.7 degree, against minus 3.3 degree recorded on Wednesday. The night temperature at the health resort was about 3 degree above normal.
The upper reaches in Pahalgam, including Chandanwari, the last motorable halting station for Amarnath cave shrine on traditional yatra route, received fresh light to moderate snowfall. Amarnath cave shine and its periphery besides Sheshnag, Mahagung, Pisso top and Panjterni also received fresh snowfall.
Another health resort of Sonmarg on Srinagar-Leh national highway also received intermittent snowfall since Wednesday morning. Baltal, base camp of Amarnath yatra from the shortest yatra route, also received fresh snowfall. Fresh snowfall was also received at Zojila, Zero-point, Meenmarg and other places on Srinagar-Leh national highway, which connects Ladakh region with Kashmir valley. The highway remained closed due to accumulation of several feet of snow at various places from over two months.
The border town of Kargil was the coldest place in the region at minus 18.4 degree, followed by Leh, where the mercury dipped about a degree and settled at minus 9.1 degree.
Meanwhile, Normal life was disrupted in Srinagar, which received rain and snow in the morning followed by fresh light to moderate snowfall from afternoon onwards. Roof and tree tops besides open fields had turned white when people woke up this morning in Srinagar. However, the snow melted due to rain in the early afternoon though a thin blanket of snow again covered the city following fresh light to moderate snow in the evening.
The night temperature in the summer capital remained constant since Wednesday at minus 0.3 degree, which is slightly above normal.
Other parts of the valley, including Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama in south and Kupwara, Bandipora and Baramulla in north Kashmir, also received fresh snowfall on Thursday.