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Snowfall in upper reaches brings respite from cold

Snowfall in upper reaches brings respite from cold
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Fresh round of downpour from Jan 11: MeT

Srinagar: Snowfall in the higher reaches and light drizzle in the plains extended the respite from cold wave conditions in Kashmir as minimum temperatures stayed around freezing point in most parts of the valley, officials said on Monday.

There was light to moderate snowfall in hilly areas like Gulmarg, Sonamarg-Zojila axis and Machhil in Kupwara, the officials said. They said a light drizzle took place over night in many plain areas of the valley.

The meteorological department had forecast moderate snowfall at many places in the higher reaches and light snowfall in the plains from Sunday evening.

Srinagar recorded a low of 0.9 degrees Celsius Sunday night — up from minus 0.1 degrees the night before, they said.

Qazigund, the gateway to the Valley, registered a minimum of 0.2 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.5 degrees, the officials said.

The mercury in Kupwara, a frontier district, settled above the freezing point at a low of 0.7 degrees. The tourist resort town of Pahalgam in Anantnag district, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, registered a low of minus 0.7 degrees Celsius — up from minus 1.4 degrees.

The minimum temperature in Gulmarg, the famous ski resort town in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, was at minus 2.5 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

The day temperature, however, has fallen across the valley with Pahalgam recording a high of 3.8 degrees Celsius on Sunday while nearby Qazigund recording 7.6 degrees Celsius.

The MeT office said moderate snowfall is very likely at many places over the higher reaches. The plains in the valley are expected to receive light to moderate snow. Light snowfall, with rains in plains of Jammu, is likely at many places in J-K, it said.

While the weather will stay cloudy on Tuesday and Wednesday, widespread moderate snowfall, with rains in plains of Jammu and heavy snowfall over the higher reaches, is possible over two days after that, the MeT Office said.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’, the 40-day harshest weather period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent.

‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ begins on December 21 and ends on January 30. The cold wave continues even after that with a 20-day-long ‘Chilla-i-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chilla-i-Bachha’ (baby cold) following it.

Meanwhile, parts of Jammu & Kashmir are all set to receive another wet spell from January 11 as a fresh Western Disturbance (WD) would likely affect the Union Territory and adjacent areas from Wednesday afternoon.

Deputy Director Meteorological department (MeT), Mukhtar Ahmad said that a fresh active WD would likely affect J&K and adjoining areas from 11th January afternoon.

He said that under the influence of WD, there is a possibility of light to moderate rain/snow (Rain in plains and light snow over higher reaches of Jammu division) most likely at most places of J&K.

As per the forecast, he said that the moderate snowfall intensity will be over higher reaches (isolated heavy over higher reaches of Kashmir especially Keran, Machil, Gurez, Tulail, Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, higher reaches of Budgam, Higher reaches of Shopian and Kulgam) with main activity during late 11th night to 12th late night and gradual decrease thereafter.

He said that the surface transportation over higher reaches would get affected during 12th January. (with inputs from PTI, KNO)

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