Srinagar: Most parts of north Kashmir including Gulmarg and Kupwara besides Pahalgam received fresh snowfall even as incessant rains drenched the Valley, officials said on Friday.
A meteorological department official said that Gulmarg, the world famous skiing resort, received 45 centimetres fresh snowfall in last 24 hours till 0830 hours. In past 5 days, the famed tourist destination in north Kashmir received 105.1cm of snow. It recorded a minimum temperature of minus 4.0 degree Celsius against minus 3.2 degree Celsius on the previous night, the official said.
Srinagar, the official said, received 27.2mm of fresh rain during the 24 hours even as it recorded a low of 2.2 degree Celsius against 3.7 degree Celsius on the previous night. The temperature was minus 1.5 degree Celsius above normal for this time of the year in this summer capital, the official said.
Qazigund recorded a low of 3.0 degree Celsius against 5.7 degree Celsius on the previous night and received 28.8mm of rain during the time.
The mercury settled at 0.3 degree Celsius against 1.6 degree Celsius on the earlier night at Pahalgam while the famous resort received 35.9mm rain and 1cm snowfall.
Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, recorded a low of 3.0 degree Celsius against 4.3 degree Celsius on the previous night while it received 16.4mm rain.
The minimum temperature settled at minus 0.7 degree Celsius in Kupwara against 2.6 degree Celsius on the previous night while the north Kashmir district received 66mm rain including 3cm snowfall, the official said. Some areas in the district received major snowfall with Sadnatop recording 2.6ft, Machil 1.9ft and Keran 2.6ft.
The weatherman has forecast erratic weather with rain with thunderstorm in plains and snow over higher reaches in the Valley till March 15.
“Widespread moderate to isolated heavy rain/snow (is expected) in Kashmir, scattered light rain (in) plains of Jammu and widespread moderate to heavy shower in Poonch and Rajouri” Sonam Lotus Director Meteorological department said.
“Current weather is likely to persists during day time. Expect gradual improvement from evening,” he said, adding, “Thunderstorm with rain is most likely at some places of South Kashmir, hilly areas of Jammu region.”
The weatherman has issued a warning, asking concerned to remain alert for landslide and avalanche in “vulnerable spots as land is fully saturated.”
For March today, the weatherman has also issued a “yellow warning” for “isolated heavy rain/snow, thundershowers with lightning, hail and gusty winds” in Kashmir as well as Jammu divisions.
There are four types colour codes signifying the level of caution: green which means no action, yellow—situation to be watched), amber –government agencies need to be prepared for severe weather and red –action needed by the agencies.
500 Vehicles Stranded As Landslide Blocks Highway
The 270-km Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed for traffic after heavy rain triggered a landslide in Jammu and Kashmir's Ramban district, officials said.
Over 500 vehicles are stranded along the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, while men and machines are working to clear the highway and restore it for traffic, they said.
The landslide was triggered by a heavy downpour in the Jawahir tunnel-Nashri section, they said.
According to a traffic advisory, the highway is likely to remain closed on Saturday.
"No vehicular movement shall be allowed from either side on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway in view of the inclement weather prediction issued by the Met department for few days besides apprehension of landslides, shooting stones at several places and continuous raining," it said.
In case the weather improves at night, a decision will be taken on Saturday after assessing the road condition, it added.
The Mughal road, which connects Poonch district of Jammu region with Kashmir valley's Shopian district, will remain closed due to snow accumulation, it added.
People are advised to undertake journey on the highway only after confirming the status of the road from traffic control units.
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