SRINAGAR: While most of the areas in the higher reaches of Kashmir and Ladakh region received fresh snowfall, while the plains were lashed by rains, with the night temperature settling above freezing point at most places in the Valley on Saturday as the met office forecast fair weather from Sunday.
“Moderate rain and snowfall occurred during the prevailing night in Jammu and Kashmir,” an official of the meteorological department said adding the weather will improve from tomorrow onwards.
He said that the minimum temperature was 2.8 in Srinagar city today. It was 1.2 in Qazigund town, 0.3 in Pahalgam, and minus 2.2 in Gulmarg.
“Leh town recorded minus 4.5 while Kargil town in Ladakh region recorded minus 2.0 as the night’s lowest temperature”, he added.
The official said that there has been fresh snowfall during the night in Sonamarg, Gulmarg and Pahalgam while rains lashed the plains. There are 6-7 feet of snow accumulated at several places, including Zojila, Zero point, India Gate and Meenmarg along Sgr-Ladakh highway , official source said, adding that there was fresh snowfall during the intervening night.
“The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir, a star attraction for tourists visiting the Valley during winter, received 4.5 inches of fresh snowfall along with 13.8 mm of rains , Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir recorded five cm of fresh snow and 30 mm of rainfall , Kokernag hill resort in south Kashmir received 2 cm of snow and 23.4 mm of rains, Sonamarg in central Kashmirs Ganderbal district received 1feet of snow and 23.4 mm rains, ” the official said adding that Gulmarg was the only recorded place in the Valley where the night temperature settled below the freezing point.
The 300-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, connecting the Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, was through despite rain.
A traffic police official said that traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu highway was through from both sides with some restrictions to avoid any traffic jam or accident. There was rain at most places on the highway, he said adding but the highway was through.
Meanwhile an official spokesperson said that medium danger avalanche warning has been already issued for some hilly areas.
The avalanche warning issued for Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Kargil, Shopian, Anantnag, Kulgam, Rajouri, Doda, Poonch and Reasi districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
Dry Kashmir winter keeps tourists at bay
PAHALGAM: The dry winter spell has resulted in steep decline in number of tourists who used to visit Kashmir around this time particularly in Gulmarg and Pahalgam. The recent snowfall had brought some hope as hoteliers and businesses prayed for more snow.
Hoteliers in Pahalgam say that occupancy in most of the hotels at this time used to be 40 to 50 percent. “We used to have tourists from different states of the country mostly from Maharashtra, West Bengal and Gujarat but this winter the things have totally changed and the occupancy of hotels has fallen to less than ten per cent, Tariq Ahmad, a hotelier said.
Lack of snow this year this year has added to their miseries, those connected with the trade rued. They have now pinned their hopes on fresh snowfall and expect some tourists in Pahalagam.
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