SRINAGAR Higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir received fresh snowfall on Thursday while the plains witnessed intermittent rains as the minimum temperature settled below the freezing point at most places in the Valley and Ladakh region.
Snowfall has been recorded in the higher areas of the valley like Qazigund, Kokernag, Pahalgam and Mughal Road during the night, MeT officials said.
There are reports of snowfall in other areas in the higher reaches of the valley and Jammu region as well including near the Jawahar Tunnel on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, they said.
However, the plains in the valley, including Srinagar, received intermittent rains overnight which continued Thursday morning in some areas, the officials said.
The snowfall and rains have led to closure of traffic on vital roads including the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
The nearly 300-km long highway was closed for traffic on Wednesday following accumulation of snow on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel, an official of the Traffic Control Room said.
He said subject to fair weather and clearance of the road, the vehicles which were stranded Wednesday would be cleared first on Thursday.
Mughal Road, which is an alternate route connecting the valley with Jammu region, remained closed for traffic due to snowfall.
The Srinagar-Leh National Highway, connecting the valley with Ladakh region, is also closed for traffic due to snow accumulation at Zojilla.
Meanwhile, the valley and Ladakh region, except Srinagar, witnessed sub-zero night temperature last night.
Srinagar city recorded a low of 0.1 degrees Celsius last night, compared to the previous night’s 0.2 degrees Celsius, the MeT officials said.
They said Qazigund — the gateway town to the valley — recorded a low of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius while the nearby Kokernag town recorded a low of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius.
Kupwara in north Kashmir saw the mercury settling at minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
They said Pahalgam health resort, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, registered a low of minus 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg, the famous skiing resort in north Kashmir, saw the mercury dipping to a minimum of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius last night – which was colder than Leh and Kargil.
Gulmarg was the coldest recorded place in the state.
Leh town in Ladakh region recorded a minimum temperature of minus 8.9 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in the nearby Kargil town settled at a low of minus 9.3 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
The MeT Office has said the weather is likely to improve from Thursday and would stay mainly dry over the next few days.
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