Snowfall in JK, Highway closed; flight operations normal
Srinagar, Jan 11: Most parts of Kashmir, including the plains, received fresh snowfall on Friday which led to closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the only all-weather road-link connecting the valley with the rest of the country. The MET Office has forecast intermittent light precipitation for the next 24 hours.
Kashmir, including plains of the valley, received fresh snowfall Thursday night which continued till Friday morning, an official of the Meteorological Department here said. He said Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded 5.6 mm of snowfall till 8:30 am on Friday.
Pahalgam health resort, which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra, received 11.4 mm of snow, while the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded 3.4 mm of snow. The official said while the plains of the alley received light snowfall, there are reports of moderate snowfall in the higher reaches of the state.
The fresh snowfall led to closure of the Srinagar- Jammu national highway, the Valley's all-weather road link connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country.
"Traffic on the Srinagar- Jammu national highway was suspended this morning due to snowfall and slippery conditions," an official of the Traffic Control Room here said.
He said the decision to resume traffic on the national highway would be taken once there is improvement in the weather and the road is cleared off the snow. However, the flight operations at the Srinagar airport here took place normally, an official at the airport said.
Meanwhile, the minimum temperature at Srinagar settled at minus one degrees Celsius Thursday night, down from the previous night's low of minus 0.3 degree Celsius, the MET official said.
He said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius Thursday night. The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 0.6 degree Celsius. Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir
recorded a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius Thursday night, a degree up from the previous night, the official said.
He said Pahalgam tourist resort recorded a low of minus 3 degrees Celsius Thursday night, up over eight degrees from minus 11.4 degrees Celsius on the previous night. The official said Leh recorded a low of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in Drass settled at a low of minus 15.2 degrees Celsius. Drass was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir.
The MET Office said the weather is likely to remain cloudy and there is a possibility of light snowfall in some areas of Kashmir which would persist till the next 24 hours. It said there is a possibility of overall improvement in the weather from Sunday. Kashmir is currently under the grip of 'Chillai Kalan', the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum and the temperature drops considerably. 'Chillai Kalan' ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long 'Chillai Khurd' (small cold) and a 10-day long 'Chillai Bachha' (baby cold).