SRINAGAR/ JAMMU, Jan 12: The overnight snowfall in Kashmir and parts of Jammu region disrupted life affecting air and surface traffic with weatherman forecasting freak weather till tomorrow .
Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was closed during mid day due to rain and snowfall at Pir Panchal in Jawahar Tunnel area. Some stranded vehicles were cleared but again snowfall started and the highway was closed.
Kashmir valley woke up to thin blanket of snow in the morning which continued for several hours disrupting the air traffic at Srinagar Airport and traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.
The morning flights were cancelled due to snowfall at Srinagar Airport but later in the afternoon the air traffic was resumed.
At Jammu airport also, four flights including two Indigo and one Spicejet, were cancelled. While a few morning flights were delayed due to bad weather and fog. The chopper service from Katra base camp to Mata Vaishnodevi shrine remained suspended for several hours twice during the day today. Despite rain and snowfall at Trikuta hills of Mata Vaishnodevi, the yatra remained smooth.
Around 5 inches snow had accumulated on the National Highway at Jawahar Tunnel this morning. The Border Roads Organization (BRO) cleared the snow from the highway and at around 11 am traffic was allowed to ply from Jammu to Srinagar.
Superintendent of Traffic Kashmir, Rural, Muzaffar Ahmad Shah, said that around 700 Light Mortar Vehicles mostly passenger vehicles crossed the Jawahar Tunnel towards Srinagar and hundreds of Heavy Mortar Vehicles including trucks carrying essential supplies are on way to Srinagar.
The Meteorological Department forecast improvement in the weather conditions from tomorrow afternoon. A MeT official said that adequate snowfall is forecast this month as another snow spell would likely be experienced between January 19 and 20.
Due to freak weather, the night temperatures showed some improvement and minimum temperatures across Kashmir remained above normal while the day temperatures remained several notches below normal.
Srinagar recorded a low of minus 0.8 degree Celsius while maximum day temperature settled at 4. 1 degree Celsius. Qazigund recorded a low of minus 0.8 degree Celsius while maximum day temperature settled at 3. 0 degree Celsius. Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 4.5 degree Celsius while maximum day temperature settled at 1.3 degree Celsius. Kupwara recorded a low of minus 4.7 degree Celsius while maximum day temperature settled at 1.8 degree Celsius.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 6.0 degree Celsius while maximum day temperature settled at minus 3.3 degree Celsius. Leh recorded a low of minus 11. 9 degree Celsius while maximum day temperature settled at 3.3 degree Celsius. Kargil recorded a low of minus 16.8 degree Celsius while maximum day temperature settled at minus 1.9 degree Celsius.
Entire Jammu region was under the grip of severe cold wave since last evening. The winter capital city- Jammu recorded a maximum temperature of 20.2 degree C and minimum 8.5 deg C, Holy town of Katra maximum 16.5 deg C and minimum 7.6 deg C, Bhaderwah tourist resort maximum 10.1 deg C and minimum 0.6 deg C, Batote minimum 1.8 deg C and maximum 9.9 degree C while Kathua town maximum 16.6 degree C and minimum 6.5 degree C temperature today.
Due to fog at least a half a dozen passenger trains were late by two to six hours while most of the trains left Jammu station at right time this evening, a Railway spokesman said.