Snow­fall in JK, High­way closed; flight op­er­a­tions nor­mal

The Northlines - - FRONT PAGE - NL COR­RE­SPON­DENT

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).

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