Rains, snowfall lash Valley

Tourists walk on snow covered Gulmarg on Sunday. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Tourists walk on snow covered Gulmarg on Sunday. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR Dec 5: Rains lashed Kashmir valley while hills experienced fresh snowfall today bringing down the temperature across the region and all the passes except the Banihal have been closed due to snowfall.
With overnight cloud cover, there was improvement in the night temperature and it stayed above freezing point in most of Kashmir except Gulmarg.
Srinagar-Leh Highway, Mughal road, Sinthan Top, Razdhan Top and Sadna Top were closed today for traffic after fresh snowfall in the hills and snow accumulation on these roads.
The snowfall in the hills started during the night with several inches of snow accumulating in the hilly areas. In Gulmarg, where several inches of snowfall was recorded, tourists were seen playing in the snow. Click here to watch video
At Tangmarg, the commuters were struggling to reach Gulmarg as the cars were skidding on the road due to accumulation of snow.
A Metereological Department official said that light rains and snow will continue till midnight and weather will improve tomorrow.
He said that light rainfall and snowfall are expected to continue for next few hours, However, there is no forecast of any major snowfall or rain in the region.
He said that weather is most likely to improve from Monday onwards, while light rains in the plains and light snowfall in the upper reaches will continue till then.
The MeT official said that Srinagar recorded minimum of 0.6 degree Celsius against previous night’s minus 0.7 degree Celsius. The temperature was above 1.5 degree Celsius for this time of the year. Mercury fell as low as minus 2.5 degree Celsius recently which was lowest temperature recorded this season so far.
Qazigund recorded minimum temperature of 3.4 degree Celsius against minus 0.4 degree Celsius the previous night. The temperature was 4.4 degree Celsius above normal for the town for this time of the year.
Pahalgam recorded a low of 2.7 degree Celsius against minus 2.0 degree Celsius the previous night.
Kokernag recorded a low of 2.3 degree Celsius against minus 2.3 degree Celsius the previous night which is above normal of minus 1.4 degree Celsius by 2.9 degree Celsius.
Kupwara recorded a low of 1.6°C against minus 1.3°C the previous night.
Gulmarg recorded a minimum of minus 1.4 degree Celsius against minus 1.2 degree Celsius the previous night.
Leh recorded a low of minus 6.4 degree Celsius against last night’s minus 6.6 degree Celsius while Kargil recorded a low of minus 0.4 degree Celsius. Drass recorded a low of minus 5.1 degree Celsius.
Meanwhile, the authorities closed historical Mughal road for vehicular movement after fresh snowfall this afernoon.
Official sources said that as the Meteorological Department had already predicted downpour and light snowfall in upper as well as plain areas of J&K, Pir Ki Gali too, witnessed snow fall following which authorities closed Mughal road for vehicular movement on Sunday.
DySP Traffic Rajouri- Poonch, Syed Aftab Shah said that Mughal road was closed for vehicular movement due to fresh snowfall ahead of Poshana and Pir Ki Gali area. There is prediction of rain and snowfall during next two days and the road may remain closed for couple of days.
He said higher authorities will take decision to throw the road open again for traffic movement after ascertaining weather condition and clearing the road, which mainly depends on snow accumulation at Pir Ki Gali.