Heavy Snowfall In Kashmir Parts, 3-ft Depth At Gulmarg  

Srinagar: Kashmir Valley received season’s major snowfall on Wednesday with world famous Gulmarg recording a depth of nearly 3 feet, forcing closure of Jammu-Srinagar highway and cancellation of most flights at Srinagar International airport.

“Widespread rain/snow with heavy to very heavy over higher reaches occurred since yesterday,” said a meteorological department official here said.

“Expect another (heavy to very heavy) spell during January 7-8th,” he said, adding, “People are once again requested not to venture in avalanche prone area as our data shows that most avalanches are triggered during Intense heavy snowfall.” He also urged people to follow traffic advisory and maintain proper ventilation of rooms.

He that weather will be “favourable” for flight operation on Thursday and Friday but no so on weekend when it has forecast heavy to very snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir.

The poor visibility at Srinagar airport led to the cancellation of 37 flights even five others operated, officials said.

Meanwhile, the official said Srinagar recorded rain and snowfall of 1 cm during the day till 5:30 hours today.

The summer capital of J&K, he said, recorded a low of 0.8°C against previous night’s 0.6°C. It was 2.9°C above normal for this time of the year, he said.

Kashmir is presently under the grip of 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’.

Gulmarg had 84 cm (nearly 3ft) of fresh snowfall during the time and the mercury settled at minus 4.0°C against minus 5.0°C on the previous night at the world famous resort, he said.

Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, had 13cm of snow during the time while as it recorded a low of 0.8°C against 0.8°C on the previous night, he said.

Pahalgam, the famous resort in south Kashmir, had 37.1cm of snowfall and recorded a low of minus 0.4°C against minus 1.2°C on previous night, he said.

Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, had 7cm of rain or snow even as it recorded a low of 0.1°C against minus 0.4°C on previous night, the official said.

Kupwara town in north Kashmir, had 19.5 cm of snowfall and recorded a minimum of 0.0°C against 0.2°C on the previous night, the official said.

Reports reaching said that Bandipora-Gurez road remained closed amid fresh and continuing snowfall. Main Bandipora had 3.4 inches of snow, 2.0ft at Razdan top, 2ft at Tulail and 1.5ft at Dawar, they said.

Reports said that there was 1.5ft of snowfall recorded around Sonamarg in Ganderbal district.

Also Machil, Karna and Keran roads have been closed as higher reaches of Kupwara received 2.0ft snow.

Jammu recorded a low of 11.6°C, down by two notches from the precious night and normal of 7.3°C for the J&K’s winter capital during this time of the year, he said.

Ladakh’s Leh recorded a low of minus 7.3°C against last night’s minus 7.2°C while Kargil station recorded a minimum of minus 5.9°C , the official added.

Meanwhile, a traffic department official told GNS the traffic on the Jammu-Srinagar highway was suspended as a precautionary measure due to shooting of stones and slippery conditions of the road in Banihal area of the Ramban due to snowfall and rains.

“The situation will be reviewed later and a decision whether to allow the traffic on the highway will be taken, depending on the condition of the road,” he said. (GNS)

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