Owais Gul

Chilai-Kalan effect: Kashmir receives fresh snowfall

Chilai-Kalan effect: Kashmir receives fresh snowfall
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Major roads, highways closed, MeT predicts heavy snowfall from Fri-Sun

Major roads, highways closed, MeT predicts heavy snowfall from Fri-Sun

Srinagar: In the grip of Chilai Kalan, the 40-day-long harsh winter period, the Valley on Wednesday received a fresh snowfall, thus ending the month long dry spell in Kashmir. The fresh snowfall has also led to rise in day temperature by several degrees. Earlier, the MeT department had forecasted a major wet spell till January 06, saying that two Western Disturbances (WD) are affecting Jammu and Kashmir in two phases from Jan 01-02 and Jan 04-06.
Most of the areas across the Valley including the world famous ski-resort and tourists destinations like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg received fresh snowfall this morning, an official from local Meteorological department told ‘Kashmir Vision’.
He said that barring Srinagar, fresh snowfall occurred everywhere in the Valley.
The snowfall brings cheer among the tourist players in the Valley who are expecting a good season ahead as the winter sports and other similar programmes are likely to be kick- started at various places.
The tourist players believe that the snowfall would attract more tourists from outside States or country.
However, what was surprising is that unlike the other district, Srinagar received light rains today and missed out on the snowfall.
Meanwhile, the snowfall in the Valley led to the closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway that was closed following the slippery conditions of road near Banihal.
Besides, Bandipora-Gurez road was also closed for vehicular movement by the authorities, saying that the road was closed for all types of traffic after heavy snowfall in Gurez, Tragbal and Razdan Pass.
“Around 7 inches and 1 feet snow have accumulated in Gurez and Razdan pass respectively since late last night. The road has been closed as a precautionary measure,” reports quoting officials said.
Meanwhile, the district administration has also decided to stop vehicular movement on Bandipora-Sumbal road for few hours due to snowfall in the area.
“In view of continuous snowfall and for safety of vehicles/passengers we will be closing Sumbal-Bandipora stretch of road for few hours. Pls plan your journey accordingly,” DC Bandipora, Dr. ShahidIqbalChoudhary said in a tweet.
Moreover, the MeT official said that a major wet spell is predicted in Jammu and Kashmir including Ladakh, saying that there is possibility of rain and snow across Jammu and Kashmir.
The official said that the next western disturbance (WD) will most likely affect the state from evening of January 4 to 6, adding that similarly under its influence, there is possibility of moderate rain or snowfall at widespread places of Jammu and Kashmir including Ladakh, saying that there is possibility of heavy snowfall at isolated places with maximum intensity and spread on 4 and 5 January and gradual decrease thereafter.
“This will be the first major wet spell in the starting of New Year for J&K,” MeT official said, adding that higher reaches of Kashmir, Ladakh and hilly area of Jammu would receive moderate snowfall during 4 and 5 January with possibility of heavy snowfall in isolated places.
The MeT official further added that there will be significant fall in day temperature while as the night temperature would rise slightly.
Notably, the snowfall has brought major respite to the Kashmiris as the minimum temperature rose by several degrees, except in Gulmarg. Srinagar recorded a 0 degrees Celsius on Tuesday night — an increase of over four degrees from minus 4.2 degrees Celsius on the previous night, the Met department said.
Gulmarg received snowfall equivalent to 8.8 mm of rains till 8.30 am, while Kupwara recorded 7.4 mm precipitation. The remaining weather stations recorded downpour between 1.5-2.5 mm during the corresponding period, the official said.
Kargil was the coldest place in Jammu and Kashmir at minus 17.0 degrees Celsius. The night temperature in Leh town in Ladakh region was minus 12.4 degrees Celsius.
On Tuesday night, Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius, Kokernag town minus 1.4 degrees, Kupwara 0.2 degrees, Pahalgam minus 0.5 degrees and Gulmarg at minus 5.0 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Besides, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan had also issued weather advisory. The advisory issued by Div Com reads that Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir division including Leh and Kargil have been asked to advise people not to venture in avalanche prone areas during this period.
“The concerned Deputy Commissioners are directed to activate their control rooms and ensure that the snow clearance equipment is placed at proper places for snow clearance in respect of their districts as per the snow clearance plan,” the advisory added.

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