SRINAGAR – Kashmir witnessed a sunny but cold morning as the minimum temperature at most places in the valley dropped on Thursday, even as Gulmarg and few other areas in the higher reaches experienced fresh light snowfall overnight, weather officials said.
Few areas in the higher reaches of Kashmir, including the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in the north, received fresh light snowfall during the night, while the weather remained dry in the plains of the valley, a Meteorological (MeT) Department official said.
He said the cloud cover receded, allowing sunlight to reach the ground in the morning, but the valley continued to experience sub-zero minimum temperature, which dropped further from the previous night at most places.
The minimum temperature recorded in Srinagar was minus 0.5 degree Celsius slightly up from minus 0.4 degree Celsius on Wednesday, the official said.
He said the mercury in Qazigund the gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir settled at a low of minus 0.4 degree Celsius.
The night temperature in Pahalgam tourist resort in South Kashmir witnessed a drop of seven degrees to settle at a low of minus 12.2 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam was the coldest recorded place in the Kashmir Valley, the official added.
Gulmarg registered a minimum of minus 11.2 degrees Celsius a drop of over three degrees from minus 8 degrees Celsius the previous night, he said.
The night temperature in Kokernag, in south, settled at a low of minus 2 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara in north recorded a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Leh in Ladakh Union Territory recorded a low of minus 18 degrees Celsius.
The MeT Office has forecast light rain or snow in the valley over the next few days from Friday.
One-Way Traffic Resumes On Banihal Highway
One-way traffic resumed on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway on Thursday after remaining suspended for the past two days due to snowfall and multiple landslides in Ramban sector, a traffic department official said.
The traffic on the highway was allowed from Srinagar to Jammu this morning after the road was cleared of snow and landslide debris, he said.
The highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, was closed for traffic on Tuesday following fresh snowfall and incessant rains, leaving thousands of commuters stranded.
“All the stranded vehicles were cleared last evening, paving the way for the resumption of one-way traffic,” he said, adding Jammu-bound security convoys were given priority after the resumption of traffic.
Jawahar Tunnel – the gateway to Kashmir – experienced nearly one feet of fresh snow on Tuesday, while incessant rains had triggered multiple landslides and shooting stones from the hillocks overlooking the highway between Panthiyal and Ramsu, forcing closure of the arterial road.
A youth was killed on Wednesday when his vehicle came under a landslide at Panthiyal.
In Jammu region, the minimum temperature recorded a dip for the second day on Wednesday, settling several degrees below normal.
Jammu city recorded a low of 4.5 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s 6 degrees Celsius, down by 2.5 notches from the season’s average, a spokesman of the MET office said.
The snow-bound Bhaderwah town in Doda district was the coldest recorded place in the region with a minimum of minus 2.5 degrees Celsius, recording a drop of over one degree, the spokesman said.
The highway towns of Batote and Banihal in Ramban also reeled under sub-zero temperature of minus 1.5 and minus 0.2 degrees Celsius respectively.
He said Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district, recorded a night temperature of 4.7 degrees Celsius.