Rains, Snow Lash Valley

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Srinagar: Mercury took a sharp dip after rains lashed planes and snow fell in upper reaches of Kashmir valley since the wee hours of Tuesday. The incessant rains resulted in inundation of the many city roads including the commercial hub Lal Chowk.

According to the Meteorological Department the weather would continue to remain wet for the next three days. “There is possibility of heavy to moderate rains till Friday,” a met department spokesman said.

“A Western Disturbance (WD) is active over the state following which we are expecting adverse weather conditions till Thursday evening.”

He said that there is possibility of occasional sunshine as well. “The weather conditions in the Valley would improve from Saturday morning,” he added.

He informed that besides rains in plains and other hilly areas, the Gurez Valley received fresh snowfall today.

The Razdan pass, connecting Gurez with Bandipora also received about five inches of snow since this morning.

The other heights in the north Kashmir, including Tulail also received fresh snowfall.      

Fresh snowfall was also experienced at several places on historic Mughal road, which remained closed since January this year.

 Reports received said that fresh snowfall was also experienced at at Amarnath cave and its periphery besides at Shehnag, Mahaguns and Pisso top on traditional route. However, at Pahalgam and Betab valley received rain since this morning.

MET Department also issued a weather warning that there is possibility of landslides, snow avalanche in vulnerable areas like Srinagar-Jammu and Srinagar-Leh, particularly Zo-jila pass on the highway.        

Due to overcast sky the minimum temperature witnessed further increase in the Kashmir valley and Ladakh region, where the night temperature remained below freezing point in border town of Kargil.

Life was affected due to rain since this morning in Srinagar, where sweaters  and other warm cloth were again out after bright sunshine yesterday when the maximum temperature was 24 degrees, six notches above normal.

The minimum temperature in the city witnessed surge and settled at 11.2 degrees, five notches above normal.

Light rain-thundershowers would occur and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 15 degree and 7 degrees respectively during the next 24 hours, he said.

Despite 4.8 mm rain, the , minimum temperature recorded increase at ski resort of Gulmarg, where slopes are still under several feet of white powder. Against yesterdays 0.6 degree, it was 1.2 degree against normal of 0 degree, he said.

Kupwara in north Kashmir, where dozens of far flung and remote villages, including Line of Control (LoC), remained cut off from their respective district headquarter, recorded highest 8.2 mm rain during the past 24 hours. However, the minimum temperature was still  8 degree, three notches above normal.

There was slight improvement in the minimum temperature at health resort of Pahalgam. Against yesterdays 5.4 degree,it was 5.6 degree, about four notches above normal.

  Qazigund on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the minimum temperature witnessed about five notch surge. Against yesterdays 5.6 degree night temperature, it was 10.2 degree.

  At tourist resort of Kokernag thee minimum temperature was 9.8 degree, eight notches above normal.

However, at Leh in Ladakh region, which remained cut from Kashmir since December last year, the minimum temperature witnessed more than three notches drop. Against yesterdays 3.5 degree, it was 0.1 degree.

There would be light rain thundershowers and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 11 degree and 2 degree respectively at Leh during the next 24 hours.

Though there was about two degree above normal in the minimum temperature it was still sub zero at Kargil. Against yesterdays minus 2.9 degree, it was minus 1.2 degree, he said.

City Areas Inundated

Meanwhile, the incessant rains since the wee hours of this morning resulted in the inundation of the city roads including the commercial Hub Lal Chowk.

The inundation of the roads has caused immense hardships to the commuters as well as the pedestrians, who accused the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) of ignoring their plight.

They appealed the SMC commissioner to look into the matter and redress their genuine grievances at earliest.

Weather Warning

There is possibility of landslides, snow avalanches in vulnerable areas like Srinagar-Jammu and Srinagar-Leh highways, particularly Zo-jila pass.        

Highway through for one-way

Despite weather warning and rain the Kashmir highway was through for one-way traffic and vehicles will ply from Srinagar to Jammu on Wednesday.

The Met Deptt has advised passengers to contact respective Traffic Control Rooms (TCRs) before starting their journey on Srinagar-Jammu highway.

Meanwhile, snow clearance operation was going on war footing on the national highway, connecting Ladakh region with Kashmir and historic Mughal road, linking Shopian in south valley with Rajouri and Poonch in Pir Panchal region.

Dozens of far flung and remote villages, including those near the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir also remained cut off with their respective district headquarters due to snow.

We have allowed traffic from Srinagar to Jammu today on the highway, linking Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, a traffic police official told UNI this morning.

He said hundreds of trucks and oil tankers, besides vehicles carrying passengers, left different parts of the valley, particularly Qazigund gateway of Kashmir, for Jammu this morning.

However, no vehicle will be allowed from opposite direction as only one-way traffic will continue till further orders, he said.

Only one-way traffic is being allowed on the highway since January this year after landslides and shooting stones badly damaged the road at several places, where only one-vehicle can cross at a time.

The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintainance of the highway are working to repair the damaged portion of the road and resume both way traffic.

Meanwhile, the national highway, linking the Ladakh region with Kashmir remained closed for the past four months due to accumulation of snow, particularly on Zojila pass. However, BEACON authorities have already started massive snow clearance operation to put through the highway.

The snow clearance operation on the highway has been completed upto Gagangeer on this side of the Zojila pass.

Major snow clearance operation has also been launched from both sides of Peer-ki-Gali on historic Mughal road, conncting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region.

Officials said that snow clearance has been completed upto Zazinar area and remaining 11 km of road upto Peer Ki Gali would be cleared within a week.

Similarly snow clearance operations were going on in north Kashmir to connecting cut off far flung and remote areas, including those near LoC with their respective district headquarters.

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