Fresh Snow In Higher Reaches of Kashmir, Avalanche Warnings Issued

KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar- Few places in the higher reaches of Kashmir received fresh snowfall on Monday, while the plains were lashed by rains even as the meteorological office said the weather is likely to deteriorate further over the next 24 to 36 hours.

Light to moderate snow, with isolated heavy snowfall, were reported from a few places in Kashmir including the Zojila axis on Srinagar-Leh road, officials said.

They said most places in the plains of the valley received intermittent rainfall which continued till the evening.

The Met office has issued an ‘orange colour’ weather warning for the hilly areas of J-K and Ladakh and said the weather is most likely to deteriorate further during the next 24-36 hours in both Union territories.

Widespread snow/rain in the plains of Jammu is most likely during this period, it said, adding that there is a possibility of heavy snow at isolated places in the higher reaches of J-K and Ladakh.

The weather system is most likely to disrupt surface vehicular traffic especially on Zojila, Mughal Road, Banihal-Ramban axis on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and other such vulnerable spots, the officials said.

Meanwhile, the ski resort of Gulmarg was the only place in the Kashmir valley to record sub-zero temperatures on Sunday night as the mercury there fell to minus 3.5 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

All the remaining weather stations in the valley, including Pahalgam, recorded minimum temperatures above zero degrees Celsius, with the night temperature in Srinagar settling at a low of 4.6 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

Avalanche Warnings Issued in Kashmir, Ladakh

Snowfall will start from northwest Kashmir, Pirpanjal, Gulmarg, Sonamarg Zojila Drass axis and gradually affect the entire valley, hilly areas of Jammu and some parts of Ladakh especially Kargil, Zanskar and higher reaches of Leh by Tuesday, MeT office said on Monday.

Minimum temperatures continued their upward rise on Monday in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh areas as the authorities improved their preparedness to meet challenges posed by heavy snowfall forecast in both union territories.

Avalanche warnings were issued on Monday for people living in avalanche prone higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir following an advisory by the weather office that moderate to heavy snowfall is likely in the Valley and Kargil district of Ladakh region beginning Monday afternoon.

Vehicles in Srinagar-Jammu highway have been advised to cross Nagrota from Jammu side and Khanabal from valley side before 2 p.m. so that they are not caught up in bad patches of the highway in case of inclement weather. At all Kashmir district headquarters snow clearance machines are in place and the staff of disaster management authority have been alerted to keep a close vigil to meet challenges likely to be posed.

“We expect snowfall to commence from northwest Kashmir, Pirpanjal, Gulmarg, Sonamarg Zojila Drass axis which will gradually affect whole Kashmir, hilly area of Jammu and some parts of Ladakh especially Kargil, Zanskar and higher reaches of Leh district on December 8,” Sonam Lotus, director of the MET department said.

Srinagar recorded 4.6°C, Pahalgam 1.5°C and Gulmarg minus 3.5°C as the minimum temperatures. Leh recorded minus 5.3°C and Kargil minus 4.6°C as the minimum temperature. Jammu city and Katra recorded 12.2°C, Batote 6.9°C, Bannihal 5.0°C and Bhaderwah 3.5°C as the minimum temperatures.

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