SRINAGAR – World famous ski resort of Gulmarg, tourist resort of Pahalgam and other parts of Kashmir received fresh light to moderate snowfall since early Tuesday morning, resulting in chilly weather conditions.
However, the night temperature improved and settled above normal due to overcast conditions across Kashmir valley, where light to moderate snow in predicted during the next 24 hours.
A Met department spokesperson said light to moderate snow would occur at most places during the next 24 hours in Kashmir under the influence of a Western Disturbance (WD), which is active in the region.
“The weather will be dry on Thursday though another spell of snow is predicted from Friday onwards under the influence of a fresh WD,” he added.
Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, received over 2 inches of fresh snow, resulting in further dip in the day temperature. Kongdori and Apharwat, the highest point of the cable car project in Gulmarg, also received moderate to heavy snowfall.
The night temperature in the ski resort improved about 5 degree from Monday and settled at minus 8 degree. “Despite snow since early this morning, the tourists are out on ski slopes, which are already covered under several feet of snow, enjoying different activities,” a hotelier said.
Summer capital Srinagar again turned white due to fresh snowfall since early this morning, disrupting normal life. Roof and tree tops besides electric poles and wires, plain fields and roads had turned white as people woke up on Tuesday morning. However, the minimum temperature witnessed a surge and settled above normal. “Against minus 2.4 degree, the minimum temperature was minus 1.2 degree,” a Met department spokesman said.
World famous health resort of Pahalgam, about 100 km from here in south Kashmir, received about 5 inches of fresh snowfall since the wee hours on Tuesday, resulting in dip in the day temperature. But, the night temperature at the health resort improved and settled above normal on Tuesday due to overcast conditions. Against minus 9.4 degree recorded on Monday, the night temperature in Pahalgam was minus 3.9 degree.
The upper reaches in Pahalgam, including Chandanwari, received very light snowfall. Amarnath cave shine and its periphery, besides Sheshnag, Mahagung, Pisso top and Panjterni, also received light to moderate snowfall.
Many other parts of north Kashmir also received fresh snowfall. Light to moderate snowfall was also received at some places on Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
The night temperature at Qazigund, gateway to the valley, Kupwara in north Kashmir and tourist resort of Kokernag witnessed major improvement and settled at minus 2 degree, minus 1.9 degree and minus 3.1 degree respectively.
1500 Vehicles Stranded On Highway
Fresh snowfall in high altitude areas and rains in plains led to suspension of traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway on Tuesday, leaving over 1500 vehicles stranded, officials said.
A traffic department official said traffic on the strategic highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was suspended from both Srinagar and Jammu in view of the fresh snowfall and rains all along the stretch.
Over 1500 vehicles, mostly Kashmir-bound trucks, are stranded in Ramban-Banihal sector which experienced fresh snowfall and heavy rains since the early hours, he said.
He said about eight inches of fresh snowfall has accumulated on the ground on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel till 10 am, leaving the road slippery, while rains triggered intermittent shooting of stones at various places between Panthiyal and Ramsu in Ramban district.
Officials said snowfall was recorded in high altitude areas of Jammu region including the famous hill resort of Patnitop in Udhampur district.
The weatherman had predicted a spell of fresh snowfall in Kashmir, upper reaches of Jammu and isolated places of Kargil district in the Union Territory of Ladakh for two days beginning Tuesday.
The highway town of Banihal in Ramban and Bhaderwah in Doda district received 6.5 cm of snowfall till 8.30 am followed by 5.3 cm in Batote, also in Ramban along the highway, which was also the coldest recorded place in Jammu region with a minimum of minus 2.1 degrees Celsius, an official of the MET department said.
He said Jammu city recorded a low of 8.2 degrees Celsius, up from the previous night’s 7.6 degrees Celsius.
Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district, recorded a minimum of 6.2 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.