SRINAGAR: Overcast conditions have led to an increase in the night temperature in Kashmir as the mercury across the Valley, except in high altitude areas, remained above the freezing point, even as some places in the higher reaches received fresh snowfall, a MeT official said ON Wednesday.
There was a huge respite from the cold conditions in Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region as the night temperatures have increased owing to the overcast sky, especially after the 40-day Chillai-Kalan, considered the harshest period of winter, ended on January 31, the official of the Meteorological department said.
The mercury, which has been hovering around the freezing point for the past few days in the plains of the Valley, settled above the zero degree Celsius last night, he said.
However, the high altitude areas in Kashmir and Ladakh region continued to experience sub-zero night temperature.
Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, registered minimum temperature of 0.4 degree Celsius, while Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley – recorded a low of 1.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said the mercury in Kokernag town in south Kashmir settled at a low of 0.3 degree Celsius, same as that of the previous night.
The famous tourist resort of Gulmarg and Pahalgam and the north Kashmir town of Kupwara were the places which witnessed sub-zero night temperature.
Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 7.0 degrees Celsius, up by nearly three degrees from the previous night’s minus 9.6 degrees Celsius, the official added.
He said Pahalgam resort in south Kashmir registered the minimum of minus 0.2 degree Celsius, a degree up from minus 1.2 degrees Celsius yesterday.
The official said Pahalgam recorded fresh snowfall of one cm during the last 24 hours, while there were also reports of snow in some other places in the higher reaches of Kashmir.
He said the mercury in Kupwara town settled at a low of minus 1.4 degrees Celsius, against minus 2.5 degrees Celsius on the previous night.
The official said Leh town in Ladakh region registered a low of minus 9.7 degrees Celsius, an increase of nearly six degrees from minus 15.3 degrees Celsius yesterday.
Leh was the coldest recorded place in the state, he said, adding that data for the nearby Kargil town was not available.
He said that there is a possibility of scattered to fairly widespread rains or snowfall in J&K over the next 24 hours, but the weather is likely to stay dry over a few days from February 10.
Vehicles with Passengers, Essentials On Way To Valley
As only one-way traffic will continue on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the world, hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying passengers and trucks loaded with essentials left Jammu for Srinagar on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, dozens of villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC), remained cut off from their district and tehsil headquarters though efforts are being made to clear the snow on the roads.
Today vehicles will plied from Jammu to Srinagar, a traffic police official told UNI adding no vehicle was allowed from opposite direction.
He said that hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying essentials and passengers left different parts of the Jammu for Kashmir valley this morning.
About 2000 empty trucks and oil tankers besides carrying fruits, which were stopped at Lavadora and Qazigund since February 2 when the highway was closed due to snowfall and landslides, were also cleared yesterday.
Traffic authorities said that only one-way traffic is allowed on the highway as the road at several places is very narrow where only one vehicle can pass. There is still threat of landslides and shooting stones.
They said that all passengers and drivers are requested to contact Police Control Room (PCR) and Traffic Control Room (TCR) before undertaking journey on the highway.
The highway was frequently blocked due to snow and landslides since January 6 when first heavy snowfall was experienced in the valley after more than six month long dry spell. January recorded highest snowfall during the past three decades.
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