Srinagar: The weather department on Saturday predicted three day wet spell across Jammu and Kashmir from Monday during which most places in the Union Territory will receive light snowfall while some places, especially Pirpanjal range, Chenab Valley, and south Kashmir may witness heavy snowfall.
According to a meteorological official, most of the places in Jammu and Kashmir are likely to receive moderate rain, snow between January 4 and 5 under the influence of a fresh western disturbance approaching the region on January 3. Also, the official said, isolated places in the Union Territory particularly Pirpanjal range, Chenab Valley, and parts of south Kashmir are likely to witness heavy snowfall during the period.
The weather forecast has prompted the disaster management authorities to issue a low level avalanche warning for Ramban district.
Director, Meteorological department (MeT), Sonum Lotus said that the wet spell will begin in Jammu from January 3 and would persist till January 5.
According to a local news agency KNO, Lotus also said that foggy mornings will also come to an end from tomorrow morning in Jammu region.
“Srinagar-Jammu highway may also be closed after fresh snowfall. Those scheduled to travel to and from Srinagar should confirm the situation of the road before travelling,” he said.
Meanwhile, Valley continues to reel under intense cold conditions even as Srinagar recorded a low of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius while mercury settled at minus 8.4 degrees Celsius in Pahalgam, a MeT dept official said.
In Ladakh, Kargil remained the coldest with the minimum temperature plunging to minus 20.4 degrees Celsius while Leh recorded a low of 15.6 degrees Celsius, he said.
He said that the minimum temperature in Srinagar was five notches higher than the previous night’s minus 6.4 degrees Celsius. So far the season’s coldest night in Srinagar was recorded on December 19 last when the mercury plunged to minus 6.6 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius against minus 9.0 degrees Celsius on the previous night, the official said.
Pahalgam was the coldest place in the Valley at minus 8.4 degrees Celsius and on the previous night, the mercury had settled at a low of minus 7.8 degrees Celsius. Qazigund recorded minus 6.1 degrees Celsius against minus 5.7 degrees Celsius on the earlier night, Kupwara recorded minus 6.1 degrees Celsius while Kokernag recorded a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan' -- the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.
The chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.
While 'Chillai-Kalan' -- which began on December 21 -- will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day-long 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold). (With Agencies Inputs)
One-Way Traffic On Banihal Highway
Only one-way traffic was on Saturday resumed on the 270-km-long Srinagar-Jammu national highway after remaining suspended on Friday for maintenance.
However, the historic 86-km-long Mughal road remained shut while Srinagar-Leh national highway has been closed for winter months since Friday due to accumulation of snow which has frozen.
We resumed one-way traffic on the national highway, the only all weather road connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country, a traffic police official said.
He said traffic was suspended on Friday as per government directions to allow National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO), to carry out necessary repair work and maintenance.
Today Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) were allowed to ply from Srinagar to Jammu, he said adding vehicles had to cross Zig Qazigund, gateway of Kashmir, between 0800 hrs1300 hrs. The Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) will be allowed to ply from Qazigund towards Jammu, he said adding Kashmir bound fresh perishable carriers and oil tankers shall be allowed from opposite direction subject to traffic situation on the highway.
He said security forces are also directed to ply from Srinagar to Jammu.
He said traffic could not be restored on the Mughal road, connecting Shopian in south Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region due to accumulation of snow and slippery conditions for the past over three weeks. (with Agencies inputs)
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