Intermittent rains continue in J&K

The mercury in Jammu and Kashmir stayed several degrees below season’s average as intermittent rains continued for the fourth successive day on Sunday, officials said.

The downpour lead to the suspension of Amarnath yatra from three main base camps and the closure of Jammu-Srinagar national highway.

The weatherman has forecast light to moderate rain or thundershowers over the state during the next 24 hours with possibility of snowfall in high altitude areas including Amarnath cave shrine.

The winter capital Jammu received 66.6 mm rain– the highest in any part of the state– in the last 36 hours but marked a slight increase in the day temperature which settled at 29.2 degrees Celsius against the previous day’s 28.6 deg Celsius, a spokesman of the Met office said.

He said the day temperature in the city was still 4.4 notches below normal during this part of the season.

Similarly, the night temperature in Jammu also marked a marginal increase and settled at 24.2 degrees Celsius – one degree below normal.

However, the maximum temperature in Srinagar fell by over two degrees to settle at 22.6 degrees Celsius, which was 6.9 degrees below the season’s average.The city had recorded 3.2 mm of rainfall during the day, the spokesman said.

He said Srinagar recorded near normal night temperature of 18.8 degrees Celsius.

Though the downpour stopped in the second half of the day, the skies remained cloudy and the ongoing yatra to the 3,880 metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath was temporarily suspended from the three base camps — Bhagwati Nagar in Jammu, Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir.

The chopper service to the cave was also suspended for the day due to the bad weather, the officials said.

State Meteorological Department Director Sonam Lotus said there was no forecast of any major change in the prevailing weather conditions.

“We expect significant fall in temperature at Baltal, holy cave and Sheshnag areas during next couple of days. Holy cave area may even get snowfall this (Sunday) evening,” he said, urging the pilgrims to take necessary precautionary measures and wear woolen clothes and raincoats to stay warm.

He said significant improvement in the weather is most likely from August 1 onwards. Banihal received 22.6 mm of rainfall from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm, the spokesman said.