Srinagar, Dec 23: Upper reaches of Kashmir Valley received snowfall while rains started in plains on Thursday. Amid overnight cloud cover, minimum temperature rose considerably across the J&K and Ladakh, with most places in Kashmir Valley recording above-sub-zero temperature.
Almost 4 inches of snowfall were reported from parts of north Kashmir as authorities closed Bandipora-Gurez road. However, vehicles were plying on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only surface link connecting Kashmir Valley with the outside world. .
Reports said that snow accumulated at Tangmarg, Gulmarg and Babareshi since 4 a.m. today. An official of the Mechanical division said that snow clearance has been started. “Only vehicles having 4×4 facility or vehicles fixed with snow chains on tyres, shall be allowed to move between Tangmarg and Gulmarg, to prevent skidding of the vehicles,” the official added.
Also, Bandipora-Gurez road has been closed following snowfall near Razdan top. “Even though there has been 2 inches of snowfall, traffic has been suspended as a precautionary measure,” he said.
Meanwhile, a meteorological department official here said that Srinagar, the summer capital of J&K recorded a low of 2.6 against last night’s minus 1.8°C. It was after several days that the mercury rose above normal sub-zero level and today’s temperature was 4.6°C above normal for this time of the year.
Kashmir is presently under the 40-day long harshest period of winter, known locally as ‘Chillai Kalan, which started from December 21. It is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ and a 10-day-long ‘Chilla Bachha’.
The mercury in the world famous resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district settled at minus 3.7°C against minus 4.0°C on the previous night, the official said. It was 2.1°C above normal for the famous resort which is presently teeming with visitors.
Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, had a low of 0.8°C against minus 3.°C on the previous night, he said.
Pahalgam, the famous resort in south Kashmir, recorded a low of 0.3°C against minus 5.2°C on previous night.
Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, recorded a low of 0.7°C against minus 1.9°C on previous night, the official said.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir recorded a minimum of 2.6°C against minus 2.9°C on the previous night, the official said.
Jammu, the J&K’s winter capital, saw a low of 9.3°C which is 6.8°C below normal, he said.
Ladakh’s Leh had a low of minus 6.6°C against last night’s minus 12.4°C while automatic Kargil station recorded minimum of minus 11.3°C. Drass in Kargil, the second coldest place in the world after Siberia, recorded a low of minus 17.4°C, the official said.
“Due to a feeble Western Disturbance, weather is most likely to remain generally cloudy in both J&K and Ladakh with chances of light snowfall at scattered places of Kashmir(over higher reaches, not plains) Kargil district (Zojila-Drass, Parkachik- Penzila) and over hilly areas of Jammu region during 23rd and 24th,” the official said, adding, “A snow spell of greater intensity is most likely during 26(Evening) to 28(Forenoon) with Main Activity on 27th.” Except this, the official said, “there’s No forecast of any Major Snow spell in both J&K and Ladakh in December.”