Cold wave, snowfall sweep Valley

Kashmir has been under the grip of cold weather after fresh snowfall in upper reaches and rains in the plains since Wednesday evening.

Met officials said ski resorts of Gulmarg, Tangmarg, Sonamarg, Pahalgam and areas closer to the Line of Control including Machil, Tangdhar, Gurez and Zanaskar experienced light to moderate snowfall.

They said Gulmarg recorded 1 to 1.5 feet snowfall since last evening while Gurez witnessed one feet and Pahlagam 4 to 6 inches.  Two feet snow had accumulated on the highway between Sonamarg and Zojilla pass which usually attracts heaviest snowfall during the winter resulting in closure of the road for traffic for nearly five months a year, they added.

Drass and Kargil towns also experienced snowfall last night. While Drass recorded two inches of snow till this afternoon, Kargil which was the coldest place in the state with a low of minus 5.8 degrees Celsius witnessed mild snowfall,

According to a statement of Disaster Management Office of the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, roads leading to Kargil, Machil, Tangdhar, Gurez and Zanaskar remained closed on Thursday. However, Srinagar-Jammu National Highway remained open for traffic while air traffic remained normal, with all flights operating on time.

In view of snowfall and slippery conditions of Tangmarg-Gulmarg road, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon has ordered that only vehicles having 4x4 facility or fitted with anti-skid chains on tyres shall be allowed to move from Tangmarg up to Gulmarg till further orders.

The Div Com has asked Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Senior Superintendent Police Baramulla, Chief Executive Officer Gulmarg Development Authority and other officials to ensure implementation of the order in letter and spirit.

Meanwhile, Kashmir valley is witnessing a severe cold wave, particularly during the night. However, the night temperature improved due to cloudy weather with Srinagar recording minus 3.3 degrees C minimum temperature.

“The present Western Disturbance over the state is likely to intensify and will affect J&K,” said an official of local MeT department.

The MeT department predicts fall in day temperature by 4-5 degrees C. However, the night temperature is expected to rise by 1 to 2 degrees C.

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