Weather to improve from Thursday
Srinagar, Jan 4: Intermittent moderate to heavy snowfall continued for the second successive day on Monday in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir, where the night temperature improved further though mercury during the day dipped and settled several degrees below normal.
A Met department spokesperson told UNI that light to moderate snow would occur during the next 48 hours in Kashmir under the influence of a Western Disturbance (WD) which is active in the region. “The WD, which originated from the Arabian Sea and approached the region through Afghanistan and Pakistan, hit the region on Saturday night,” he said, adding the weather is expected to improve from Thursday onwards.
He said a weather warning has been issued for Monday and Tuesday, when heavy rain and snow could occur at isolated places in the valley.
Even though there was an improvement of about a degree in the night temperature, the border town of Kargil in the Union Territory of Ladakh was the coldest place in the region at minus 15 degree, followed by Leh, where the mercury surged about a degree and settled at minus 13.2 degree. All the waterbodies in Ladakh remained frozen as the maximum and minimum temperature in the UT has been settling several degrees below sub-zero. The maximum temperature recorded in Kargil and Leh was minus 7 degree and minus 1.9 degree, respectively.
After witnessing further improvement in the night temperature due to overcast conditions, people woke up to a chilly and snowy Monday morning in Srinagar. Intermittent moderate to heavy snowfall continued for the second successive day in the city, where people had to rely on old means of heating, including Kangri, as electricity was spanned from many areas due to damage to power transmission lines. Snow has been cleared by main roads. However, people allege that snow has not been cleared from by lanes and interior areas of the city making it inconvenient. The mercury in the city improved about a degree from Sunday and settled at minus 0.9 degree, which is over a degree above normal.
Much to the delight of the tourists, Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, intermittent moderate to heavy snowfall continued for the second successive day on Monday. Kongdori and Apharwat, the highest point of the cable car project in Gulmarg, received heavy snowfall. The mercury at Gulmarg, which is known for its ski slopes and quality of snow, improved remained constant at minus 5 degree, about 2 degree above normal. “Despite chilly weather conditions and snowfall since Sunday, the tourists are out on ski slopes, which are already covered under several feet of snow, enjoying different activities,” a hotelier told UNI over the phone.
World famous health resort of Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir, received about several inches of fresh snowfall since Sunday, resulting in dip in the maximum and minimum temperatures. The night temperature at the health resort dipped about 5 degrees from Sunday and settled at minus 6.7 degree, which is slightly above normal. The upper reaches in Pahalgam, including Chandanwari, received light to moderate snowfall. Amarnath cave shine and its periphery, besides Sheshnag, Mahagung, Pisso top and Panjterni, also received moderate to heavy snowfall.
Tourist resort of Kokernag, where the night temperature remained constant at minus 1.4 degrees, received several inches of snowfall since Sunday.
The 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only all weather road linking Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, remained closed for traffic movement for the second day on Monday due to snowfall and rain since early Sunday. Both sides of the Jawahar tunnel, Shaitan Nallah and Banihal received several inches of fresh snowfall. Qazigund, gateway to the valley, also received fresh snowfall since Sunday. The mercury at Qazigund improved remained constant at minus 0.3 degree, which is about 3 degree above normal.
Dozens of far-flung and remote villages — including border towns of Keran, Karnah and Tanghdar — were cutoff on Monday due to slippery road conditions following fresh snowfall in north Kashmir.
An official said all the flights were on Monday cancelled at Srinagar International Airport due to poor visibility following intermittent heavy snowfall. “Flights will be allowed to operate from the only airport in the valley after clearance of snow and improvement in visibility,” he added.