Moderate snowfall affects surface, air traffic

The Kashmir plains received light to moderate snowfall on Tuesday, even as there was heavy snow in higher reaches.

Meteorological Department officials said ski resort Gulmarg received almost 1 to 2 feet deep fresh snowfall while there was heavy snowfall in higher reaches including Pir ki Gali, Sadhna Top and Zojila.

Srinagar recorded 3-4 inches deep fresh snowfall while parts of south Kashmir including Shopian recorded 8-10 inch deep snowfall between Monday and Tuesday.

A tourist takes a selfie in Tangmarg with snow-covered mountains in the
background. Pic: Mubashir Khan/GK

MeT officials told Greater Kashmir that weather was likely to remain dry till January 4 while temperatures will continue to drop below the freezing-point during the next few days.

Surface, air traffic affected:

Fresh snowfall caused disruption in the traffic on the 270-kilometer Srinagar-Jammu National Highway for several hours.

Traffic officials said that accumulation of snow caused slippery road conditions due to which a large number of vehicles were stranded on the highway. However, the traffic was restored on the highway later in the day, officials said.

The accumulation of snow on the runway and poor visibility at the Srinagar International Airport led to cancellation of ten flights, Airports Authority of India officials said.

“10 out of the 27 total scheduled flights for the day were cancelled due to snow on the runway and poor visibility. While 9 morning flights were cancelled, one evening flight had to return back to Srinagar due to poor weather at Jammu,” the AAI official said. He said after suspension of all morning flights, normal flight operations were resumed at 12:30 pm.

Rainfall, temperatures:

As per MeT department Srinagar recorded more than 3 millimeter rainfall while ski-resort Gulmarg recorded 26.6 mm rainfall during the last two days. Qazigund recorded 4.8 mm, Kokernag 26.6 mm rainfall during 8:30 am and 5: 30 pm on Tuesday. The fresh snowfall has also led to a sharp fall in temperatures.

As per MeT data, Srinagar which recorded 0 degrees Celsius on Monday night, witnessed bone chilling cold on Tuesday and recorded a maximum temperature at 4.8 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg which had frozen at minus 7.5 degrees Celsius on Monday night recorded sub-zero temperature of minus 2.6 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, making it the coldest recorded station of the Valley.

Qazigund on Tuesday recorded 5.5 degrees, Pahalgam 1.2 degrees, Kupwara 8.3 degrees, Kokernag 2.8 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, Ladakh region also continues to be reeling under a cold spell as Leh on Tuesday recorded minus 4.3 degrees Celsius maximum temperature while Kargil recorded 0.4 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.

The Valley has been reeling under a cold wave as it is undergoing the 40-day harshest winter phase of Chillai Kalan.