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Kashmir gets another snow ‘surprise’

Kashmir gets another snow ‘surprise’
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Air traffic disrupted as fresh downpour halts life

Srinagar: Air traffic to and from Kashmir was affected on Saturday as several flights were cancelled due to fresh snowfall in Srinagar and other parts of the Valley, officials said.
They said snow accumulated on the runway of the Srinagar airport which hampered the flight operations.
No flight operations have taken place at Srinagar airport till noon. At least seven flights have been cancelled, an official of the Airports Authority of India said.
Some flights have been delayed, he added.
The official said the runway would not be available for the flight operations till at least about 2 pm.
The snow clearance teams are on the job and as soon as the runway is available, the operations would be resumed provided the weather allows it, he added.
He requested the passengers to confirm their flight status with the respective airlines.
Air traffic to and from the valley was restored on Thursday after remaining suspended for four days in the wake of heavy snowfall which began on Sunday.
Many parts of the valley, including the summer capital, received fresh snowfall Saturday morning.
The fresh snowfall began early in the morning, they said.
The valley had received snowfall for four consecutive days earlier in the week, draping everything in white. The officials said Srinagar recorded four inches of snow till 8.30 am.
In south Kashmir, Kulgam recorded five inches of snow, Anantnag three, Shopian three and Pulwama four. Bandipora, in the north, received two inches of snow and central Kashmir’s Budgam and Ganderbal districts recorded three inches each, the officials said.
There were no reports of snowfall at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir, and Pahalgam tourist resort in the south, the officials added.
Some other areas in the valley received rainfall, they said.
The MeT Office had forecast very light rains or snowfall at isolated places in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, even as it had said there was no forecast of any major snowfall and the weather was likely to stay mainly dry till January 14.
The Srinagar-Jammu national highway remained closed for traffic on the seventh day on Saturday, the officials said.
They said the 260 kilometre-long highway — the only all-weather road connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country — was blocked by the accumulation of snow and landslides and shooting stones due to the heavy snowfall earlier this week.
The officials said while the highway was cleared on Friday and stranded traffic was allowed, no fresh vehicle movement has been allowed yet.
The Mughal Road — the alternate road-link which connects the valley to the Jammu division through Shopian-Rajouri axis was closed for traffic due to heavy snowfall in the region, the officials said.
The MeT Office said the minimum temperature went down across the valley.
Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 4.0 degrees Celsius — down from minus 0.4 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.
The minimum temperature in Gulmarg tourist resort settled at minus 10.0 degrees Celsius — same as the night earlier.
Pahalgam tourist resort, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 5.1 degrees Celsius — down from minus 3.3 degrees Celsius.
Qazigund recorded a minimum of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, Kupwara, in the north, minus 5.4 degrees Celsius and Kokernag minus 4.5 degrees Celsius.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ — the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.
The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.
While ‘Chillai-Kalan’ — which began on December 21 — will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold) following it. (PTI)


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