Srinagar: Kashmir Valley was draped in white as western disturbances resulted in fresh snowfall which started during last Monday-Tuesday mid-night. The snowfall, which was measured in inches across Kashmir, disrupted routine life was in Kashmir today.
It continued intermittently during the day virtually cutting Valley from rest of India due to closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway and suspension of air traffic.
The regional Meteorolgy department has predicted widespread snowfall or rains over the next two days also.
Official sources told CNS due to landslides at Patnitop and fresh snowfall, Srinagar-Jammu highway was closed for traffic. Reports said that scores of vehicles were stranded on the highway.
While the traffic from Srinagar was stopped at Awantipora, Anantnag and Qazigund, the traffic from Jammu towards Srinagar was stopped at Nagrota, the official said adding that snowfall was hampering the efforts to reopen the highway for traffic.
The flight operations at the International airport Srinagar were also affected due to fresh snowfall, an official of the Airport Authority of India said.
Many areas in Kashmir, especially in the higher reaches, experienced fresh snowfall overnight, with the plains of the Valley, including the summer capital here, witnessing light snowfall, an official of the Meteorological Department said.
The fresh snowfall affected the air-traffic at Srinagar Airport, reports said. They added that no flight landed at the airport. While most flights have been delayed, one flight was cancelled due to bad weather, they said.
The higher reaches in the Valley like Keran, Machil, Karnah, Gurez, Shopian, Sonamarg and Amarnath cave along with surrounding areas experienced continuous moderate to heavy snowfall, an official said.
Reports said that many areas of Kupwara got cut off from the district due to fresh heavy snowfall. The city here registered the minimum temperature of 0.1 degree Celsius slightly up from minus 0.4 degree Celsius yesterday, the official said.
The famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir registered a low of minus 8.3 degrees Celsius making it the coldest place in the Valley at the moment.
Eyewitnesses told CNS that almost all the North, South and Central Kashmir district witnessed moderate to heavy snowfall. Moderate to heavy snowfall was recorded in Ganderbal, Kangan, Sonamarg, Gund, Bandipora, Budgam, Pulwama, Shopian, and Anantnag. During the last 24 hours, there has been snowfall in Gulmarg, the star attraction for tourists visiting the Valley during winter, and peripheral areas including Khilanmarg, Kongdoori and Afferwath.
Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, received four cm of snow and rainfall during the last 24 hours, the official said, adding the resort recorded a low of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius.
The twin tourist resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam were the only two recorded places in Kashmir Valley where the night temperatures settled below the freezing point.
Kupwara, in north Kashmir, recorded three cm snow, while the night temperature there settled at a low of 0.3 degree Celsius.
Kokernag town in south Kashmir registered a minimum of 0.3 degree Celsius and recorded rains and snow equivalent to 2.2 mm, the official said. Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir Valley, recorded 3.1 mm of rainfall and snow and the night temperature there settled at a low of 0. 6 degree Celsius.
Weatherman Predicts Widespread Rains, Snow
Srinagar: According to the Divisional Administration Kashmir widespread rains and snow has been forecast in Kashmir Division for the next three days.
There is forecast of widespread rain/snow with isolated and fairly widespread heavy snowfall on January 25, widespread rain/snow with scattered heavy falls on January 26, and fairly widespread to isolated rain/snow from January 27-28, a statement of the Divisional Administration said.
The statement said that all the Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir Division have been asked to necessary precautionary measures in their respective districts.
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