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Snow, rains break longest dry spell of 4 decades

Mughal, Leh, Gurez roads closed

Snow, rains break longest dry spell of 4 decades

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Jan 3:  Snowfall in the hills of Kashmir and rains across the Valley broke the prolonged dry spell in the region and led to closure of various hills roads including those leading to Poonch, Leh and Gurez.
Director Metrological Department, Sonum Lotus said:  “On January 4, light to moderate rains and snowfall is again likely to occur across Kashmir. Good news is that the prediction is for good amount of rains and snowfall across the valley.”
“On January 5, weather will remain partly cloudy with possibility of rains and snow and thunderstorm at isolated places. But again, on January 6 and January 7, widespread rains and snow would occur across Kashmir”, he said.
The heavy snowfall was recorded from Pir Panchal mountain range and this forced authorities to close Mughal Road for traffic for second consecutive day.
Over two-foot snow accumulated on Mughal Road from Pir Ki Gali to Poshana in Southern Kashmir and in Poonch district. Moderate snowfall was also witnessed in Shopian upper reaches as well as on the mountains of Banihal in Pir Panchal range.
The snowfall also occurred at Sonamarg, Zojila, Gumri and Pahalgam as well. According to the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, Sonamarg-Gumri road shall remain closed for vehicular traffic in view of the snowfall in higher reaches and slippery road condition on either side of Zojila Pass.
Gulmarg in North Kashmir witnessed one feet of snow today and it was snowing. The snowfall in Gulmarg brought smiles on the faces of tourists and the students who had been camping in Gulmarg for last one week for skiing.
Manager of a hotel in Gulmarg told Excelsior that majority of the tourists today extended their stay at the Ski resort after snowfall. He said that tourists were seen playing with snow.
The upper ranges of Kupwara and Bandipora along the Line of Control witnessed snowfall closing the mountain passes that were acting as infiltration routes for militants.
The Sonamarg-Gumri Leh highway was closed after heavy snowfall in Zojila area. The highway that closes for winter in November or December was this seaon still open for traffic due to dry spell.
There was heavy snowfall at Razdan top on Bandipora-Gurez road that led to closure of the road for traffic to Gurez.
Upper reaches of Bandipora including Razdaan Top, Tragbal, Chandaji, Vewan, Athwatoo, Kudara, Sirindar, and Gurez received moderate to heavy snowfall.
Kashmir has for the first time in 40 years witnessed over five to six months continued dry spell.
Srinagar witnessed intermittent rainfall throughout the day today. According to MeT office there is forecast of rain and snow in Srinagar for next 24 hours. Srinagar recorded the coldest day of the winter today with day temperature plummeting to maximum of 5.5 degree Celsius.
Qazigund  recorded 4.5 degree Celsius, Pahalgam 5.2 degree Celsius, Kokernag 5.2 degree Celsius, Kupwara 7 degree Celsius, Gulmarg minus 1. 0 degree Celsius, Leh 2.6 degree Celsius and Kargil 4.7 degree Celsius as maximum day temperature.
Jammu recorded a maximum of20.1 degree Celsius, Katra 17.3 degree Celsius, Banihal 10.2 degree Celsius, Batote 10.8 degree Celsius and Bhaderwah 8.8 degree Celsius.
Srinagar recorded a low of minus 0.6 degree Celsius, Pahalgam minus 2 degrees Celsius and Gulmarg minus 3.6 degrees Celsius.
Qazigund recorded a minimum of minus 2.6 degree Celsius, Kokernag 0.3 degree Celsius and Kupwara 1.4 degree Celsius.
Leh town recorded minus 10.5 degree Celsius and Kargil minus 9.3 degree Celsius as the minimum temperature today.
Jammu city recorded 11.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 10.8 degrees Celsius, Batote 5.6 , Banihal 2.2 degrees Celsius and Bhaderwah town 1.8 degrees Celsius as the night’s lowest temperature.

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