Srinagar-Jammu highway closed after Kashmir receives fresh snowfall; MeT forecasts light precipitation for next 24 hours

Srinagar: Most parts of Kashmir, including the plains, received fresh snowfall on Friday which led to the 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 on Thursday night which continued till Friday morning, an official of the Meteorological Department in Srinagar said. He said Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded 5.6 millimetres 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 millimetres of snow, while the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded 3.4 millimetres of snow.

The official said while the plains of the valley received light snowfall, there are reports of moderate snowfall in the higher reaches of the state.

"Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was suspended this morning due to snowfall and slippery conditions," an official of the Traffic Control Room in Srinagar said. He said the decision to resume traffic on the national highway would be taken once there is an improvement in the weather and the snow is cleared off the road.

However, the flight operations at the Srinagar airport took place normally, an official at the airport said.

Meanwhile, the minimum temperature at Srinagar settled at minus one degree Celsius on Thursday night, down from the previous night's low of minus 0.3 degrees 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 on Thursday night.

The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 0.6 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius on 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 also 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 31 January, 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).

Updated Date: Jan 11, 2019 12:52:23 IST