In view of the Meteorological Department forecast for moderate to heavy snowfall for the next three days, the Disaster Management Authority of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday issued a “low level avalanche warning” for several higher reaches of the Valley. As per an advisory issued by the authority, a “yellow alert” indicating low level warning has been issued for Rajouri, Ramban, Kishtwar, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Ganderbal districts.
In its latest forecast, Director MeT Sonam Lotus said that as predicted earlier a spell of rain, snowfall is most likely to occur in J&K and Ladakh during Monday and Wednesday, with main activity on Tuesday.
“We expect snowfall to commence by Monday afternoon from northwest Kashmir, Pirpanjal, Gulmarg, Sonmarg Zojila Drass axis which will gradually affect whole Kashmir, hilly areas of Jammu and some parts of Ladakh especially Kargil, Zanskar and higher reaches of Leh on Tuesday,” the MeT forecast said.
As per Lotus, light to moderate snowfall, rain is expected at most places of plains J&K whereas moderate snowfall is expected at scattered places of Ladakh, mainly Kargil. “Heavy snowfall will occur at higher reaches like Gulmarg, Zojila, Gurez etc. on Tuesday. Inclement weather could lead to temporary closure of Mugal road, Zojila and other such highways,” Lotus said. He said the wet spell will lead to a sharp fall in day temperatures.
Meanwhile, summer capital Srinagar on Sunday recorded maximum temperature at 11.6 degrees Celsius while ski-resort Gulmarg was the only place in the Valley to have recorded below freezing temperature on Saturday night at minus 3 degrees Celsius. Srinagar has witnessed an improvement in the night temperature and recorded 3.2 degrees Celsius on Saturday night.
Earlier, the higher reaches of the Valley last Friday had received a fresh spell of light snowfall while plains received rains. The higher reaches had also received a moderate to heavy spell of snowfall on November 14 and 15, which had lead to closure of major highways and other important roads in the upper reaches of north Kashmir for several days. Ski-resort Gulmarg which received 2-3 feet of fresh snowfall had witnessed an increase in tourist arrivals.
The Mughal Road, connecting Valley with Pir Panchal region from Dubjan to Pir Ki Gali pass had recorded 1.5 feet snowfall on November 16.
As per authorities, more than 250 snow clearance machines have been kept ready in view of the MeT forecast for snowfall. Besides, 85 dewatering stations and 127 mobile pumping units of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation are also available in case of water logging in the summer capital, a senior official said.