Snowfall, rains continue; NH through

A panoramic view of snow laden trees in Chassana area of Reasi district.
A panoramic view of snow laden trees in Chassana area of Reasi district.

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, Nov 25: Intermittent snowfall and rains continued at most places in Kashmir for the third day today leading to closure of several roads connecting remote villages to district headquarter North Kashmir while as Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained through despite snowfall and rains at several places. In Jammu also, rains lashed most of the plain areas whereas upper reaches Reasi, Ramban, Kathua and Doda districts received light snowfall.
The weatherman said that most places in the Valley experienced rains/light snowfall which continued when last reports came in. They said that the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, in North Kashmir, recorded four inches of fresh snowfall during the night, while Pahalgam tourist resort in South Kashmir, recorded around one inch of snow.
There are reports of snowfall in other areas in the higher reaches, including the Sonamarg-Zojila axis on the Srinagar-Leh road which connects the valley with Ladakh, they said, adding, the road was closed for traffic on Monday. They also informed that many areas in the plains, including Srinagar, were lashed by rains. Click here to watch video
The maximum temperature today at Gulmarg was 0.4 degree, 6.8 degree below normal while the minimum temperature was minus 5 degree, 2.9 notches below normal. The upper heights in North Kashmir, including the areas near the Line of Control (LoC) also experienced snowfall.
Dozens of roads connecting far flung and remote villages with district headquarters in North Kashmir also remained closed due to accumulation of snow. However, plains including Kupwara, Baramulla, Handwara, Sopore, Pattan and Bandipora were lashed by rain.
The holy Amarnath cave shrine and its periphery in south Kashmir Himalayas, Panjtarni, Pisso top, Sheshnag, Mahaguns and Chandanwari also received fresh snowfall. The upper heights in South Kashmir, including Herpora and Mughal Road, which is closed for traffic, received fresh snowfall. However, plains received rain.
Pahalgam, famed health resort in South Kashmir recorded 3.1 degree maximum temperature, which was 7.6 notches below normal while the minimum temperature was 0.3 degree, 2.7 degree above normal. Life was badly hit due to rain and chilly winds coupled with frequent and long duration power failure without any prior information in summer capital Srinagar where the maximum temperature today was 5.6 degree, 8.2 notches below normal.
The minimum temperature in the city was 0.6 degree, which was 0.5 degree above normal. A MeT spokesman said the weather will be generally partly cloudy and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be 9 and one degree respectively during the next 24 hours in Srinagar.
Barring few areas, most of the plain areas of Jammu division witnessed light to moderate rains while upper reaches of Reasi, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar and Kathua districts received light snowfall, thereby drop in temperature in plain areas of Jammu by several notches.
In Reasi district, Chassana, Gulabgarh and other higher reaches received several intermittent light snowfall. The snowfall was also witnessed in upper reaches of Kathua district while rain lashes several hilly areas of Bani, Machhedi, Lohai Malhar, Sarthan, Duggan and Thaggar. Due to bad weather, the election rally which was to be addressed by Himachal CM at Machhed was also cancelled and whole belt from Ramkote to Billawar had to face power crisis.
Meanwhile, the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remained through even as intermittent rain and snow continued at various areas along the highway since yesterday. One-way traffic from Srinagar to Jammu was plying normally throughout the day except some disruptions at Panthyal in the morning and the afternoon due to shooting stones,” a traffic police official said.
He said Jawahar Tunnel and its adjoining areas including Shaitani Nallah and Nowgam received heavy snowfall last night. However, he said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO), responsible for the maintenance of the highway, immediately pressed into service sophisticated machines and put through the road for traffic.
However, historic 86-km-long Mughal Road, connecting Shopian in South Kashmir with Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region, remained closed since Monday morning following slippery road conditions due to accumulation of snow.
Authorities, meanwhile, issued avalanche warning for 12 districts of J&K in view of heavy snowfall in the higher reaches of the Union Territory (UT) in the last three days. A ‘medium danger’ avalanche warning has been issued for the higher reaches of Kishtwar, Kupwara and Bandipora districts, they said.
The officials added that a ‘low danger’ warning has also been issued for the higher reaches of Poonch, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Anantnag, Kulgam, Baramulla, Ganderbal and Leh districts. People have been asked to remain cautious and not venture out in avalanche-prone areas.
The MeT officials said that the weather is most likely to remain dry till December 3 but isolated light rain or snow cannot be ruled out, they said.