Srinagar, Oct 23: A strong Western Disturbance, the phenomenon that brings change in weather, caused heavy rain and snowfall in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, damaging orchards in parts of south Kashmir.
As the intensity of weather picked up on Friday night, snowfall was recorded in higher reaches of Kashmir while plains were lashed with heavy rainfall.
Since Saturday morning, snowfall was recorded in the plains of Shopian and Kulgam, creating problems for common people, especially the farmers.
Hundreds of images and videos of devastation to apple orchards were shared on social media. Farmers expressed grief over the loss caused by the untimely snowfall.
While the officials were yet to assess the total loss, reports of snowfall kept pouring in from these areas till evening.
This is the fourth consecutive year of early snowfall in Kashmir and has resulted in a huge loss to the horticulture industry.
In other plains of Kashmir, snowfall with no accumulation or less than an inch was reported.
Many parts in south Kashmir surpassed their monthly average rainfall for the month of October within a span of 24 hours, said the MeT data.
Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Kulgam, Aharbal and other parts of Shopian district recorded the first snowfall of the season.
Reports of snowfall were also received from Z-Gali, Sinthan Top, Sadhna Top, Gurez, Tulail, Peer Ki Gali, Nowgam, Margan Top, Meenamarg, Drass and other higher reaches.
The snow depth varied between 2 inches and 2.5 feet in these areas.
Patnitop in Jammu region also received the season’s first snowfall on Saturday afternoon.
Jammu city and other parts of Jammu region were struck by a strong hailstorm on Friday afternoon
Along with hailstorm, heavy rainfall occurred in Katra, Udhampur, Ramban and Jammu districts.
Meteorological Department Srinagar on Saturday forecasted improvement in weather from Sunday though intermittent showers could lash Kashmir parts.
As per the MeT data, Srinagar recorded 34.4 millimeters of rainfall between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm on Saturday while Qazigund recorded 66.8 mm, Pahalgam 62 mm, Kupwara 1.7 mm, Kokernag 45.8 mm, Gulmarg 3.4 mm, Jammu 81.8 mm, Banihal 46.8 mm, Batote 47.8 mm, Katra 90.7 mm rainfall till 5:30 pm on Saturday.
Meanwhile, day temperature fell across Jammu and Kashmir.
The maximum temperature in Srinagar on Saturday settled at a high of 6.6 degrees Celsius which was 14.6 notches below the normal.
Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a maximum temperature of 5.2 degrees Celsius, which was 15.1 degrees below the normal.
Kupwara recorded a maximum of 7.7 degrees Celsius.
The tourist resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the coldest place in Kashmir with a high of 0.2 degrees Celsius.
Kokernag and Pahalgam recorded high temperatures of 4.7 degree Celsius and 1.3 degree Celsius.
Meanwhile, the winter capital Jammu recorded a maximum temperature of 16.6 degree Celsius.
The maximum temperature in the city was 13.9 degree Celsius below the normal for this time of the year.
Katra town recorded a high temperature of 16.5 degree Celsius.
Bhaderwah, Batote and Banihal recorded maximum temperatures of 9.9 degrees Celsius, 9.2 degrees Celsius and 7.1 degrees Celsius.