Rain, snow break two-month dry spell

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PAHALGAM: Light rain and snowfall occurred in Jammu and Kashmir Thursday breaking the nearly two-month long dry spell in the state.

“There has been light snowfall in the higher reaches and rainfall in the plains of Jammu and Kashmir during the night,” an official of the Met department said.

Pahalgam and other upper reaches received moderate to heavy snowfall here Thursday ending a long dry and chilly spell.

It snowed heavily on the higher slopes throughout the day much to the delight of tourists and other adventure lovers who had come from different parts of the country to witness the snowfall.

According to the official of Meteorological Department (MeT), higher reaches of Kashmir including in Peer Ki Gali on Mughal Road in Shopian, Sonamarg, Amarnath Cave Shrine, Razdan Pass, Sadhna Top and Gurez received.

“20 cm of snow has accumulated during night in a famous ski-resort, Gulmarg while 8 cm of snow was recorded in Pahalgam,” MeT official told Kashmir Observer.

He informed that several areas on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway also received snowfall.

Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the only road-link connecting the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country has been closed by the authorities in view of the snowfall at Jawahar tunnel, the official said.

“We are currently allowing stranded vehicles to pass and further decision on the movement will be taken accordingly,” he said.

Meanwhile, the plains of the Valley, including the summer capital Srinagar, received intermittent rains, even as the mercury stayed above the freezing point at most places.

“Trikuta Hills in the Jammu region also received light snowfall during the night. Present weather conditions are likely to continue during the next 24 hours after which there would be improvement,” the official added.

Jammu city recorded 10.6 degrees as the minimum temperature while it was 8.5 in Mata Vaishno Devi base camp town of Katra, 2.1 in Batote, 0.2 in Bannihal, 1.1 in Bhaderwah and 9.1 Udhampur towns of Jammu region.

Weather office said with minus 4.5 degrees Celsius as the night’s lowest temperature, Gulmarg Ski resort was the coldest in the Valley.

“The minimum temperature was 1.3 in Srinagar, 3.0 in Pahalgam and minus 4.5 in Gulmarg which was the coldest in the Valley,” the official said.

“In the Ladakh region, Leh town recorded minus 4.2 while Kargil town recorded minus 4.0 as the minimum temperature today.”

Meanwhile, Chief Engineer Mechanical Rameesh Bhal informed that 170 snow clearing machines were kept ready during the Thursday snowfall and that almost all road links in Kashmir have been restored to the large extent.

Bhal said that apart from eth snow clearance machines, 20 control rooms have been set up to assist people at eth present situation.

Snow clearance operations were started in the Jawahar Tunnel sector of the Jammu-Srinagar national highway at 4.00 am yesterday.

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