SRINAGAR Mercury took a nosedive across Kashmir as rains and snow lashed most parts the Valley including this summer capital of the state on Wednesday.
A meteorological department official said that Srinagarthe summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir received 21mm of rainfall or snow from 8:30 hours till 5:30 hours. It also recorded a maximum temperature of 5.2 Degrees Celsius against 14.9 degrees Celsius normal for this time of the season, the official said.
Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir witnessed 10.2 of rain during the time and recorded a maximum of 4.6 degrees Celsius along with Kokernag which saw 4.8mm of rainfall.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of 1.3 degrees Celsius and maximum of 4.6 degrees ceslius and rainfall of 8.4 mm during the day, he said.
Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir, amassed 20 centimetres of fresh snow overnight and recorded a low of minus 2.0 degrees Celsius while the famous health resort of Pahalgam witnessed 6.9 mm of rainfall and registered a maximum of 4.2 degrees Celsius, the official added.
The weatherman has forecast rains at most places in Jammu and Kashmir in next 24-hours.
There is possibility of widespread light to moderate rain/snow/thundershowers over the state in next 24-hours, the official added.
Highway Closed, Reopens
Fresh snowfall and rains disrupted smooth movement of traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu Highway, the only surface link connecting Kashmir Valley with rest of the world, on Wednesday, officials said.
Kashmir-bound traffic on the highway was stopped at Udhampur this morning but was later allowed as the weather improved, traffic department official said.
He said 2,296 vehicles, including 983 light motor vehicles and 31 buses, crossed Jawahar Tunnel till 7 pm.
However, the traffic on the highway would be allowed from Jammu to Srinagar on Thursday as well to facilitate stranded vehicles, mostly trucks, to reach their destination besides the passenger vehicles which returned to Jammu this morning.
The traffic on the highway plies alternatively from the twin capitals of Jammu and Srinagar in view of the ongoing work on the four-laning project. Light snowfall was recorded at Jawahar Tunnel and its peripheral areas while rest of the highway was lashed by incessant rains, triggering rolling down of stones from the hillock overlooking the highway near Panthiyal. It forced suspension of the traffic in the morning, the officials said.
With the improvement in the weather, the authorities concerned pressed men and machinery into service and cleared the road of the accumulated debris, paving way for the resumption of the traffic, the officials said.
They said the traffic was, however, disrupted several times during the day affecting the smooth movement of the vehicles.
About four inches of snowfall was reported from high altitude areas while the plains, including Jammu, were lashed by rains since Tuesday night, resulting in considerable drop in the mercury, they said.
The weatherman had predicted light to moderate snow in the higher reaches and rains in the plains during the day with very light rains at a few places on Thursday.
Banihal town along the highway received the highest 21.0 mm of rains during the past 24 hours ending at 5.30 pm Wednesday, while Jammu received a rainfall of 17.4 mm during the same period, a spokesman at the weather office said.
The night temperature in Jammu fell by 1.2 notches to settle at 12.4 degrees Celsius, while the day temperature settled at 25.6 degrees celsius, he said.