WD to hit J&K again; rain, snowfall on Feb 23-24

Heavy rush of Srinagar bound traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway at Seri, Ramban on Sunday. —Excelsior/Parvez
Heavy rush of Srinagar bound traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway at Seri, Ramban on Sunday. —Excelsior/Parvez

Gopal Sharma
JAMMU, Feb 18: A fresh avalanche warning has been issued for Jammu -Srinagar National Highway and some other snow bound areas while Meteorological Department has predicted rain and fresh snowfall at many places of the State on February 23 and 24.
Sources said that in view of landslides at several places between Ramban and Banihal and heavy snowfall in Jawahar Tunnel area of Pir Panjal and single road created at many places there, massive traffic jams are taking place on the highway for the last couple of days.
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Due to blockade of highway for four days during recent past, huge number of vehicles remained stranded at several places along the highway.  The one way traffic of heavy vehicles is allowed on alternative days from each side but light and medium vehicles are plying daily on both sides.
The long traffic jams on the highway especially in Jawahar Tunnel and Ramban-Banihal area has been causing lot of problem to the passengers. The traffic jams at several places along the highway, were giving tough time to the Traffic cops and other Policemen on duty.
An official spokesman said that fresh avalanche warning has been issued on Sunday evening in the State including on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway for next 24 hours.
He said that on the basis of information received from SASE, low danger avalanche warning has been issued for Baramulla, Gulmarg, Furkian-Z Gali and Kupwara-Chowkibal-Tangdhar, Poonch, Rajouri, Reasi, Ramban, Doda, Kishtwar Udhampur, Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Kupwara, Bandipora, Gand-erbal Kargil and Leh districts, Bandipora-Kanzalwan-Gurez sector and Srinagar-Jammu National Highway for next 24 hrs.
People living in these avalanche prone areas  and also moving on highway have been advised by the State Disaster Management Authority to take precautionary measures.
Director Meteorological Department, J&K, Sonam Lotus told the Excelsior that Western Disturbances are likely to hit J&K again after February 22 and there will be rain and snowfall at many places across the State on February 23 and 24.
Lotus said till February 22, there will be total dry spell across the State with sunny days and there will be some sharp rise in temperature. He said due to recent rain and snowfall  after long dry spell of over more than one month, there was sharp fall in temperature. With this, sharp fall in temperature and now sudden rise    with sunny days, the people are getting sick and caught by bad cold/ cough and fever. He added that change in weather conditions are responsible for this factor.
The MeT director further said the Western Disturbances no doubt affected health conditions but it also improved weather conditions and lowered the level of pollution in the plain areas of northern region. The movement or displacement of suspended air particles is less during these months in the atmosphere. It affects the weather conditions.
Lotus said that rain was very crucial during the season for the farming community and it will also provide much needed moisture to the soil during these days.
A MeT spokesman said that  region witnessed sharp improvement in day temperature during last couple of days after recent rain and snowfall. Jammu recorded a maximum temperature of 24.1 degree Celsius and minimum 8.8 degree C today, Srinagar maximum 13.7 degree C and minimum 1.2 deg C, Leh city maximum 4.7 degree C and minimum minus 10.7 deg C; Kargil maximum 1.7 deg C and minimum minus 8.0 deg C; famous tourist resort of Gulmarg maximum 2.5 degree C and minimum minus 6.0 deg C; Pahalgam maximum 8.9 degree C and minimum  minus 7. 3 deg C;  holy township of Katra  maximum 21.7 degree C and minimum 9.4 degree C while tourist resort of Bhaderwah maximum 16.1 degree C and minimum 1.9 degree c temperature today. He said the weather would remain clear for the next couple of days in the region.