Fresh snowfall drapes Valley in white
Srinagar: The Kashmir Valley on Friday was draped in white after a fresh bout of snowfall was experienced across the Valley including summer capital Srinagar, while as the local Meteorological department predicted heavy rains or snowfall in the higher reaches of the State till Sunday afternoon.
The MeT had forecasted major wet spell till January 06, claiming that two western disturbances are affecting Jammu and Kashmir including Ladakh from Jan 01 to Jan 06 in two phases.
Under the influence of second Western Disturbance, the Valley received fresh snowfall today, brining cheer among the tourism players in Kashmir who expected a good season ahead, saying that the number of inquiries has been increased by 50 percent following the snowfall on Jan 02.
Reports said that soon after the Friday congregational prayers ended in the local mosques, snowfall started across the Valley here and within half an hour almost all the areas were covered under a blanket of snow.
Officials in the MeT department had predicted moderate rains and snowfall in plains, saying that the higher reaches including Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Drass and others would experience heavy snowfall till January 06 (Sunday) afternoon.
Deputy Director MeT, DrMukhtar Ahmad said that the weather would remain wet till Jan 06 (Sunday) afternoon.
He added that the minimum temperature has risen in the past couple of days and it will go further up in the upcoming days. Ahmad said maximum temperature will go up by some degrees in the couple of days.
Meanwhile, Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius Thursday night a drop of 0.2 degrees Celsius from the previous night, the Meteorological department (MeT) official said Friday.
The city had earlier experienced two relatively warm nights consecutively as the minimum temperature had stayed above the freezing point for more than 48 hours.
Qazigund — the gateway town to the valley — in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 0.8 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 1.0 degrees Celsius, he said.
In north Kashmir, Kupwara recorded a low of 4.6 degrees Celsius on Thursday night, a decrease of over one degree, the official said.
The night temperature in Pahalgam, which serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnathyatra in south Kashmir, settled at minus 6.8 degrees Celsius Thursday night up by half-a-degree compared to previous night, the official said.
The official said the ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the coldest place in the valley as the minmum temperature settled at minus 10.0 degrees Celsius – over one degree down from the previous night’s minus 8.5 degrees Celsius.
Leh town in Ladakh region of the state recorded minus 14.5 degrees Celsius on Thursday night, down from minus 13.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, he said.
Reeling under intense cold at minus 18.6 degrees Celsius, Kargil was the coldest recorded place in the state, he said.
The MeT department has forecast more precipitation in Kashmir on Friday and Saturday.
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).
Avalanche warning issued
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, today issued an avalanche warning for nine districts of Kashmir division in view of the inclement weather and snowfall.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas in district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
As per a handout, the Divisional Commissioner has asked the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out during the snowfall.
Besides, they have been directed to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to deal with any untoward incident.