Fresh Snowfall Brings Respite From Severe Cold Spell In Kashmir

 KO File Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar, Other Parts Receive Light To Moderate Snowfall, Gulmarg Receives Highest 10 Inches Of Snow

Srinagar- Kashmir Valley on Saturday received fresh snowfall, bringing respite from shivering cold conditions after nearly a fortnight as a significant increase was recorded in night temperatures with the mercury settling at minus 2.0°C in Srinagar.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir received about 10 inches of snowfall till 8:30 am, the officials said.

Kupwara, also in the north, received three inches of snow, Qazigund in south Kashmir received about one cm and Srinagar 0.2 cm, they said.

Reports of snowfall, about 4 -5 inches, have been received from Sopore, Baramulla, Tangmarg and Bandipora in north Kashmir.

There are also reports of snowfall in other areas in the higher reaches of the Valley and Jammu region including on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the officials said.

Traffic on the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar national highway was also suspended, they said.

The flight operations at Srinagar airport were affected this morning due to the accumulation of snow on the runway, the officials said.

This is the third time that Kashmir received snowfall this month. Earlier, Valley had received heavy snowfall for over four days from January 3 and moderate snowfall on January 9.

The Meteorological Department here has forecast light to moderate snowfall at scattered to widespread places in the plains of Kashmir and hilly areas of Jammu along with rain and thunder in the plains of Jammu till the forenoon on Sunday.

It said there is a possibility of heavy snowfall at isolated places over the Valley, especially in the higher reaches.

After this, the weather department said, the weather is likely to remain mainly dry till the end of this month.

Meanwhile, the night temperatures increased across the Valley due to the cloudy sky, bringing some relief to residents from the intense cold wave conditions.

The minimum temperature at most places in the Valley last night was above the normal for this time of the season, the officials said.

Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, up from minus 6.1 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The minimum temperature in Gulmarg in north Kashmir's Baramulla district settled at minus 4.8 degrees Celsius last night, up from minus 6 degrees Celsius the night before.

Pahalgam, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 1.3 degrees Celsius, over five notches up from the previous night's minus 7.0 degrees Celsius.

The night temperature in Pahalgam was over six notches above the normal for this time of the season.

Qazigund recorded a minimum temperature of 4 degrees Celsius, the official said.

Kupwara recorded a low of minus 0.4 degrees Celsius while Kokernag recorded a low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius.

Kashmir is currently in the grip of 'Chillai-Kalan', a 40-day period of harshest winter 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 and the water supply lines.

The chances of snowfall are the maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

While 'Chillai-Kalan' began on December 21 and will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day 'Chillai-Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day 'Chillai-Bachha' (baby cold).

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