Season's first snowfall brings cheers in Kashmir

Season's first snowfall brings cheers in Kashmir

Kashmir witnessed the season's first snowfall on Tuesday providing much-needed relief from the intense cold as the Mercury rose due to cloud cover.

The higher reaches of the valley including tourist resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir, Pahalgam in south Kashmir and Pir Panjal mountainous range received heavy snowfall which led to closure of the 294-km Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

An official spokesperson said the highway was closed on Monday evening after snowfall at Jawahar Tunnel and other places. "Efforts are  made by Chief Engineer, Beacon, to clear the snow and re-open the road," he said.

Roof and treetops were draped in white as people woke up in Srinagar on Tuesday morning. The open fields and parks were also under white blanket. While people expressed excitement on social networking sites, children and youth were seen playing "Sheen Jung" in the city and elsewhere.

"Kashmir without snow is incomplete. Though snowfall increases problems for people as government fails to provide basic amenities, still winter is the best season in Kashmir," said Irshad Ahmad, a businessman.

The fresh snowfall brought some respite from the intense cold wave in Kashmir as the minimum temperature rose by several degrees on Tuesday. The weather office said the minimum temperature was minus 0.2 in Srinagar and 0.1 in Pahalgam. At minus 6.5, ski-resort Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the coldest place in Kashmir, a Met official said.

The minimum temperature was minus 1.4 in Leh town of Ladakh region and in neighbouring Kargil town it was minus three degrees. According to Met office, the weather is likely to improve from December 14.

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