White new year will elude Kashmir as dry weather predicted till Jan 3

SRINAGAR:  Snow will elude the new year as dry weather has been predicted till January 3 in the Kashmir valley, where the minimum temperature remained below freezing point while the day continued to witness above normal temperature.
Meanwhile, the tourism department, after holding a number of road shows in south Indian states to woo tourists during the past one week, offering them rebates, have arranged new year parties at world famous health resort of Pahalgam and ski resort of Gulmarg, where the slopes are under several feet of snow.
A Met department spokesman said on Sunday afternoon that weather will remain dry in the Jammu and Kashmir during the next 24 hours. There will be no change during subsequent two days and the weather will remain dry and cold, he added.
However, there is a chance of isolated rain on January 4 and scattered next day, he said.
Barring Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, the night temperature witness further drop in the region, where Leh continued to freeze at minus 15.2 degree more than 1.5 degree colder than on Saturday.
Pahalgam, 100 km from here in south Kashmir, which also serves as base camp for annual Amarnath pilgrimage in summer, recorded further drop in the minimum temperature after witnessing three degree above normal maximum temperature yesterday.
Met spokesman said against Saturday’s minus 5.5 degree, the minimum temperature at health resort dropped further and settled at minus 5.9 degree, about a notch below normal. The tourism department has made all arrangements for the celebration of New Year.
At Gulmarg, where world class ski slopes are under several feet of snow, recorded more than 1.5 degree improvement in the night temperature though it was still below freezing point.
Against Saturday’s minus 6.6 degree, it was minus five, more than a notch above normal. Hundreds of guests from outside besides locals have already arrived there to welcome the New Year.
The summer capital, Srinagar, where people continued to enjoy above normal day temperature, witnessed slight drop in the night temperature.
The minimum temperature in the city was minus 3.6 degree against minus 3.5 degree recorded yesterday when the maximum temperature was four notches above normal because the sun was out though cold winds also continued.
The sky would be mainly clear and the maximum and minimum temperatures would be 12 degree and minus 3 degree respectively in Srinagar during the next 24 hours.
Gateway of Kashmir Qazigund on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, tourist resort of Kokernag and Kupwara also recorded drop in the minimum temperature though day temperature remained above normal. (AGENCIES)


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