Fresh snowfall drapes valley in white, more to follow
Srinagar: There was some relief from the intense cold conditions for the residents in Kashmir as night temperatures rose by several degrees, even as the valley experienced fresh snowfall on Wednesday, MeT department said.
Fresh snowfall began at many places across the valley including Srinagar, breaking the intense cold wave conditions.
Amid prediction of snowfall till January 23, valley witnessed a descent snowfall on Wednesday leading to closure of roads, and suspension of aerial traffic to and fro Kashmir.
Director of Meteorological department (MeT), Sonum Lotus, predicted light rains, and snowfall till Thursday.
“Weather will remain cloudy in Kashmir from Jan 18-19 and from Jan 19 evening there is possibility of light rains and snowfall at isolate places,” Lotus said.
According to Lotus, from Jan 20-23, moderate rains and snowfall across the Valley are predicted to lash the valley.
Meanwhile, Pahalgam, tourist resort – which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual AmarnathYatra recorded three cm of fresh snow last night, an official a MeT official said.
The night temperature rose across Kashmir owing to a cloudy sky, he said.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar rose over three degrees from minus 5.8 degrees Celsius on the previous night to settle at minus 2.1 degrees Celsius Tuesday night, the official said.
He said Qazigund the gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 2.9 degrees up by over four degrees from minus 7.2 degrees Celsius on the previous night.
The nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius Tuesday night down from minus 7.2 degrees Celsius.
The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius as against the Monday night’s minus 7.7 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 6.0 degrees Celsius Tuesday night an increase of four degrees from the Monday night.
Pahalgam tourist resort recorded a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius an increase of over eight degrees from the previous night’s minus 12.3 degrees Celsius, the official said.
The official said the data for Ladakh region was not available.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and 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).
All the flights were cancelled in Kashmir Wednesday due to snowfall and bad weather conditions, an official said.
“The flight operations at Srinagar airport have been hit due to bad weather since Wednesday morning,” an official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said.
He said the snowfall which intensified in the afternoon led to cancellation of all the flights in the afternoon.
“Two flights were able to operate on Wednesday morning. However, due to bad weather, it was not possible to operate other flights several of whom have been cancelled,” the official said.
Night temperature rises in Jammu
Overcast conditions led to an increase in the night temperature across the Jammu region which, however, reeled under cold wave conditions with sun hidden behind the clouds, a MeT official said.
The minimum temperature in Jammu city appreciated by several notches to settle at 6.2 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s 3.5 degrees Celsius, a spokesman of the MeT said.
Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, recorded a low of 7 degrees Celsius, an increase of 1.7 degrees Celsius from the previous night, he said.
The snow-bound Bhadarwah township in Doda district, which was reeling under sub-zero temperature, recorded a minimum of 0.6 degrees Celsius, while Banihal and Batote along Jammu-Srinagar national highway recorded a night temperature of 1.6 and 3.1 degrees Celsius, respectively, the spokesman said.
The increase in the minimum temperature was due to the overcast conditions, the spokesman said, adding that the maximum temperature is likely to dip across the region as the sun remains behind clouds.
The weatherman has predicted another spell of wet weather in Jammu and Kashmir from the weekend.
“Another snow spell of stronger intensity is expected around January 19 to January 23 with peak activity on January 22,” the spokesman said.