SRINAGAR – The maximum and minimum temperatures dipped across Kashmir valley due to overcast conditions on Wednesday ahead of another fresh spell of light to heavy snowfall from Thursday onwards.
A Met department spokesperson said that the weather will remain dry with cloudy skies during the next 24 hours in Kashmir valley, where night temperature remained slightly above normal despite a dip of several degrees in mercury.
However, he said a fresh Western Disturbance (WD), which originated from the Arabian Sea and is approaching the region though Afghanistan and Pakistan, will hit the region on Thursday afternoon. “Under the influence of this WD, light to heavy snowfall would occur till Saturday in the valley,” he said.
He said Kupwara and Baramulla will be the most affected districts, which will receive moderate to heavy snowfall for three days from Thursday. “World famous ski resort of Gulmarg, which is under several feet of snow, will also witnesses moderate to heavy snowfall,” he said.
The spokesperson said that the WD will then travel to south Kashmir and would result in light to moderate snowfall in upper reaches and rain in plains.
After witnessing a dip of about 3 degree in night temperature due to open skies, people woke up to a chilly Wednesday morning in the summer capital, Srinagar. However, as the day progressed, sun played hid and seek though the day temperature remained below normal due to ice cold winds.
The mercury in the city dipped about 3 degrees and settled at 1.7 degree, which is still about a degree above normal.
He said the maximum temperature recorded on Monday in the city was over a degree below normal.
Weather was chilly at world famous resort of Gulmarg, where the ski slopes are under several feet of snow. “We are expecting that the tourist footfall will increase as the ski slopes are covered with snow and ready for snow related activities. Gulmarg is famous for its ski slopes and the quality of snow and tourists’ come here every year during winter season,” a hotelier told UNI over the phone.
Sun was playing hide and seek in world famous health resort of Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir, though the maximum temperature remained below normal due to ice cold winds. Pahalgam, which acts as a base camp for annual Amarnath yatra every year during summers, is also under several feet of snow.
The day temperature also remained below normal in tourist resort of Kokernag, Kupwara in north Kashmir and Qazigund, gateway to the valley.
Army issues Avalanche alert for Soldiers
A day after deadly snow avalanche killed four soldiers and two porters at the world’s highest battlefield—Saiachen glacier—a fresh advisory has been issued by the army top brass to its men deployed at the forward posts in Kashmir in a bid to ensure no more causality takes place in future.
A senior army official said that even though the natural calamities can’t be prevented, but precautions can always be taken to avoid the level of damage.
“We have asked our men deployed at the forward posts in Uri, Keran, Gulmarg, Tangdhar, Gurez and Bandipora, to stay alert, follow weather alerts regularly and not to go for patrolling at a time of possibility of snow avalanches,” he said, wishing not to be named, adding that the advisory was a regular feature of army’s protocol for its men during the winter months.
This year’s advisory is significant given the unseasonal snowfall on November 7 across Kashmir that blocked all peaks including all the infiltration routes in the Valley, but triggered a fresh snow avalanche alert. On Tuesday, a snow avalanche hit army post at Siachen resulting the death of four soldiers and two porters, who succumbed few hours after they were pulled out from the snow.
“This is a normal advisory and nothing more should be read out of it. It is for the safety of our men, who are putting their lives on the line while serving the nation,”said the officer.
Sources in the defence said that troops have also been asked to wear warm clothes in layers and also the warm jackets besides taking precautions during patrolling. “We have asked troops guarding forward posts in Kashmir not to go for patrolling when there is a prediction for snow avalanches,” they said.
They said that there was no question of leaving the forward posts abandoned at a time when troops have been asked not to lower the guard keeping in view the threats from enemies. “Only timing of patrolling may be changed in view of weather predictions and snow avalanches,” the sources said. They said that troops are maintaining highest level of vigil on all the posts along the LoC.
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