Fresh snowfall, rain across J&K; traffic disrupted on NH

Srinagar receives fresh snowfall on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
Srinagar receives fresh snowfall on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

2 flights cancelled, 8 delayed in Jammu

Gopal Sharma/Fayaz Bukhari
JAMMU/ SRINAGAR, Jan 28: The upper reaches in Kashmir and parts of Jammu region received fresh snowfall while plains were lashed by rains leading to traffic disruption on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway today.
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Snowfall was witnessed in upper reaches of Kashmir since morning while there was snowfall and rains in the plains as well later in the day.
The winter capital city, Jammu witnessed continuous rain since early hours today leading to sharp fall in day’s temperature. The water logging in many city areas disrupted the movement of vehicular traffic.
The traffic movement on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway also remained disrupted during this evening due to snowfall at Jawahar Tunnel. However, the highway was opened till late this evening. The movement of vehicles was very slow due to slippery road conditions at Jawahar Tunnel.
SSP Traffic, National Highway JS Johar said that despite snowfall in Jawahar Tunnel area and rains in Banihal-Ramban sector, Jammu-Srinagar highway remained open. He said there was around 5-6 inches snow in Tunnel area. He added that the snowfall caused slippery conditions on either side of the Tunnel. Shooting stones at a few places in Ramsu area also caused temporary disruption on the highway, but movement of vehicles continued after clearance work.
He disclosed that more than 800 vehicles including 350 trucks/ HMVs crossed the Tunnel amid snowfall. He said many trucks reported to have been stranded on the National Highway and they will try to clear Srinagar bound stranded vehicles tomorrow.
A senior officer at Jammu Airport said that due to bad weather/ poor visibility, two flights (Vistara and Spicejet) were cancelled while eight other flights were delayed today. The chopper service at Katra Mata Vaishnodevi also remained suspended due to rain and bad weather.
Director Meteorological Department Sonum Lotus said that light to moderate snow and rains are likely to continue till tomorrow at most places of Jammu and Kashmir and at a few places in Ladakh’s Kargil district with the main activity later this evening.
He said this spell is likely to cause more rain or snow in South Kashmir, Pir Panjal area along Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, Poonch and Rajouri besides parts of Doda and Kishtwar.
After a pleasant weather over the past few days, the residents in Jammu woke up to chilly conditions amid light rains since early morning.
The city recorded an increase of 4.1 notches in the night temperature which settled at 10.8 degrees Celsius — 2.1 notches above normal during this part of the season, the MeT official said.
After reeling under sub-zero temperatures, the minimum temperature in snow-bound Bhaderwah in Doda district was 1.1 degrees Celsius, Ramban’s Batote at 1.4 degrees Celsius and Banihal at 1.8 degrees Celsius, he said.
Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district, recorded a low of 8.9 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s 7.6 degrees Celsius, the official said.
Meanwhile, higher reaches of Doda belt are experiencing fresh snowfall since early morning today, even as rains lashed plains and other areas. Bhaderwah town also experienced scattered spells of snowfall since today morning.
The famous Padri meadow of Bhaderwah recorded about 1.5 feet of fresh snowfall since morning, while Chattargala pass on Bhaderwah-Basohli Road recoded 2 feet fresh snowfall.
There are reports of snowfall in other areas of Chenab belt including Marwah, Dachhan, Gandoh, Kota Top, Jaye, Shankhoja, Kanser, Keinthi Dhar, Banihal, Gool and Batote. Plains of erstwhile Doda dsitrict witnessed torrential rains.