Higher reaches of the Valley and Ladakh on Sunday received moderate to heavy snowfall for the second consecutive day while plains received intermittent rainfall, even as the Meteorological Department has predicted a significant improvement in weather from Monday.
MeT officials said ski-resort Gulmarg in Baramulla district and its upper reaches such as Affarwat on Sunday received 13 inches of snow. Other upper reaches including Pir Ki Galli, Sonamarg, Minimarg, Zojilla and Drass also received 1 to 2 feet of fresh snowfall on Sunday, officials said. The heavy snowfall in upper reaches of the Valley and Ladakh since Saturday morning has lead to suspension of traffic on major highways including Srinagar-Leh National Highway and the Mughal Road connecting Valley with Pir Panchal region.
As per officials there is snow accumulation of 2 to 3.5 feet on the 3-high altitude passes to border areas of Karnah, Keran and Machil. “All these three roads are closed and machinery will be deployed as soon as weather improves,” they said.
The inclement weather has also brought down the temperatures sharply. Summer capital Srinagar recorded 7.7 degrees Celsius maximum temperature while ski-resort Gulmarg recorded 0.5 degrees Celsius temperature on Sunday, which is several notches below normal.
Heavy rainfall accompanied by gusty winds lashed winter-capital Jammu on Sunday evening bringing down the temperature sharply. Jammu recorded 19.5 degrees Celsius maximum temperature, which is 7.6 degrees below the temperature recorded a day earlier. MeT data said Jammu received 12.4 millimetres rainfall on Sunday. Kupwara recorded the highest rainfall at 14.1 mm, Qazigund 1.2 mm and Gulmarg recorded 11.4 mm rainfall between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm on Sunday. Summer capital Srinagar also received a spell of rainfall during the evening.
Director MeT, Sonam Lotus, told the Greater Kashmir, “Weather is expected to witness a significant improvement from Monday for the next three to four days.”
The Mughal Road connecting Valley with the Pir Panchal region continues to be blocked due to accumulation of snow, a traffic advisory said. Subject to fair weather and road clearance only downward traffic (load carriers) loaded with fresh fruits shall be allowed from Herpora (Shopian) from 11 am to 4 pm towards Poonch, the traffic advisory added. “No vehicle shall be allowed after cut off timing. Moreover, no passenger vehicle or pedestrian shall be allowed on Mughal Road.”
Srinagar-Leh National Highway is blocked due to snow accumulation, traffic advisory said. The vehicular movement shall be allowed on Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumari road, subject to fair weather and clearance of road on Monday, the advisory said.