Snowfall cuts off Kashmir from rest of country

Snowfall cuts off Kashmir from rest of country

Snowfall and intermittent rain from Saturday night ended more than a month-long dry spell in Kashmir, much to the delight of the people.

The 294-km Srinagar-Jammu National highway, the only road link between Kashmir and rest of the country, remained closed for vehicular traffic on Sunday due to heavy snowfall along the highway, particularly in areas around the Jawaharlal Tunnel, officials said. This was the first snowfall of the season in Srinagar city and other major towns of the valley.

Though the city didn’t receive much snowfall, the upper reaches, particularly in south Kashmir, experienced moderate to heavy snowfall since Saturday evening
Snowfall in different parts of the valley preceded moderate to heavy rain on  Saturday evening. As the skyline was covered by thick clouds since Saturday night, the weatherman predicted improvement in temperature.

“The chill factor will lessen,” a MeT department official said. Advancing western disturbances towards Jammu and Kashmir were the reason for change in weather conditions.

Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius on Sunday while the mercury in Gulmarg settled at minus 6.6 degrees and minus 0.2 in Pahalgam, he said.
“The night temperature was minus 6 degrees in the Leh town of Ladakh region,” he said. This is several notches above the corresponding night temperatures at these places during the last one week.

The Kashmir Valley received the season’s first snowfall in upper reaches during October this year while light drizzle was received in plain areas. The prolonged dry and chill weather spell had compounded problems for the people.

While the dry spell had given rise to many cold-related diseases especially among children, the dip in the night temperature had resulted in freezing of water bodies, including the famous Dal Lake and often freezing of water taps in different parts of the valley besides reducing the discharge in water bodies.

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