Light snowfall on Wednesday led to a sharp increase in the minimum temperatures, while the Meteorological Department has predicted improvement in weather across Jammu and Kashmir from Thursday noon.
However, the wet spell on Wednesday disrupted air traffic at Srinagar International Airport leading to cancellation of 14 flights.
As Kashmir received a fresh spell of snowfall, night temperatures saw an improvement on Tuesday night. Srinagar recorded minus 0.4 degrees Celsius while Pahalgam recorded minus 3.9 degrees Celsius on Tuesday night, several notches up from minimum temperatures recorded a day earlier. Srinagar had recorded a low of minus 8.8 degrees during the last night of Chilai Kalan on December 30, registering the coldest night in the last 30 years.
As per Meteorological Department data, ski-resort Gulmarg recorded minus 5.2 degrees Celsius on Tuesday night, making it the coldest recorded station in the Valley. People have been suffering as supply lines and water storages have been freezing due to low sub-zero temperatures but the light snowfall has brought some respite from the cold wave.
On Wednesday, people woke up to a blanket of snow as it started snowing in summer capital Srinagar and parts of north Kashmir during night. The intensity and distribution of the snowfall picked up as the day passed with intermittent light snowfall in plains and moderate snowfall in many higher reaches during the day.
Kashmir had received a heavy snowfall during January 4 and 5 cutting off Valley from the rest of the world for five days.
Mainly dry weather for next 4-5 days:
As per the data shared by the MeT department, light snowfall was received in most parts of the Valley with isolated moderate snowfall at higher reaches, which recorded more than 6 to 7 inches of fresh snowfall.
Plains of Kupwara and Baramulla recorded 3 to 4 inches of snowfall while Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal received 1 to 2 inches till evening, a MeT official said. A MeT official said ski-resort Gulmarg in Baramulla recorded more than 8 inches of fresh snowfall while Pahalgam in south Kashmir recorded almost 6 to 7 inches. Pir Ki Galli recorded more than 7 inches of fresh snowfall.
Director MeT, Sonam Lotus told the Greater Kashmir that there would be a “significant improvement in the weather” across J&K from Thursday afternoon after which “weather is expected to remain mainly dry for the next four to five days”. Lotus said there would be a “gradual increase in temperatures” during the next few days and the severe cold wave conditions will not return although minimum temperatures could be 2 to 3 degrees below normal.”
14 flights cancelled:
Director, Airports Authority of India, Srinagar, Santosh Dhoke told the Greater Kashmir that 14 flights out of 28 scheduled flights were cancelled at the Srinagar Airport on Wednesday due to “poor runway visibility.” Dhoke said several flights also witnessed delays. “Flight operations resumed after visibility improved and 14 flights were able to operate,” he said. The Airport Director said flight operations on Thursday will depend on the runway visibility in the morning and overall weather conditions.