Parts of the Valley received heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds and hailstorm on Tuesday while the upper reaches got a fresh spell of light snowfall, even as the Meteorological Department predicted the wet spell will continue for three days.
MeT officials said that Srinagar, Ganderbal and areas in Awantipora, Pulwama, Anantnag and Budgam received moderate to heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds.
Director MeT, Sonam Lotus said a current “Western Disturbance”— an atmospheric condition that brings about change in the weather— was likely to continue for the next three days.
Lotus said the rain with thunderstorm was likely to continue at scattered places of J&K, mainly towards late afternoon and evening, during next three days whereas weather is most likely to remain “mainly dry” on April 11 and 12. “Another wet spell is likely on April 13 and 14 when light snowfall is possible at some places of Zanskar region of Kargil district.” However, he added that there was no forecast of any “heavy rain or snow” during this week.
As per MeT officials, while summer capital Srinagar received 7 mm rainfall till 5:30 pm on Tuesday, Qazigund received 4.2 mm rainfall, Kokernag 2.8 mm, Banihal 11.2 mm and Batote 8.5 mm. Kupwara recorded 1.10 mm rainfall while winter capital Jammu also received 0.2 mm rains.
The rainfall also led to drop in temperature as Srinagar recorded 17.2 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, which is almost 1.3 degrees below the normal temperature, MeT officials said.
Ski-resort Gulmarg received a spell of rainfall bringing down the temperature while the higher reaches continued to receive light snowfall till late evening.
Traffic disrupted on Highway
The heavy rainfall triggered shooting stones at several spots along the 270–km Srinagar-Jammu National Highway causing trapping of the trucks during the evening.
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Traffic (Highway), Ajay Anand told Greater Kashmir that shooting stones at Panthiyal and Monkey Morh on the Highway had caused disruption in movement of traffic. However, Anand said that road clearance was underway and traffic was expected to be restored soon.
“We have men and machinery on the job for making the road travel-worthy. Shooting stones are hampering the road clearance but we hope the road will be restored for traffic soon,” Anand said.
A traffic advisory, meanwhile, issued here, said that subject to fair weather and road conditions, only vehicles carrying essential goods will be allowed to move on the highway on Wednesday.
The highway had remained closed for six days last week due to landslides.
Frequent closure of the highway has choked supplies to the Valley causing inconvenience to people already reeling under the tough situation owing to Covid-19.
A shortage of goods especially mutton and other perishables is being felt in the market for last several days due to highway closure. However, as per officials the stocks were being replenished and enforcement squads were taking action against profiteers.