Kashmir received another spell of snowfall on Wednesday, even as Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for vehicular traffic late in the evening.
Pertinently, on 7 November Kashmir received season’s first snowfall, heaviest during the past four decades in the November month.
As per MeT data, during November 2019 Kashmir saw almost 200 per cent more snow and rain compared to the precipitation witnessed in November 2018. In November 2018, rain and snowfall in Kashmir was 132 per cent above normal precipitation. However, in November, 2019 precipitation has been more than 313 per cent above normal, said official data.
As per Meteorological Department officials, Srinagar recorded 17 millimetre rainfall till 5:30 pm. Rain along with thunder which started on Tuesday night lashed Kashmir, bringing down the temperature, MeT officials said.
It started snowing in Srinagar late in the evening while higher reaches, including famous ski-resort Gulmarg in Baramulla district recorded more than 9 inches of snow, said MeT officials. High altitude Zojila, Sonamarg received 5 to 6 inches of snow, while upper reaches of Kupwara district including Karnah and Sadhna Pass also received more than 5 inches of snow till evening.
However, officials of the Meteorological Department predicted improvement in weather from Thursday.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Director MeT, Sonam Lotus said the weather is likely to remain dry till 10 December.
“We expect significant improvement in weather from Thursday. Weather is likely to remain dry till 10 December,” said Lotus.
SRINAGAR-JAMMU HIGHWAY CLOSED
Meanwhile, the 270-kilometre Srinagar-Jammu highway was closed for traffic on Wednesday evening due to landslides at several places.
Superintendent of Police Traffic (Rural), Muzaffar Ahmad Shah said that traffic plied on the highway during the day despite inclement weather.
Another official said, “There were incidents of shooting of stones from the hillocks overlooking the highway at various places between Ramban and Ramsu including Moumpassi, Digdole and Panthiyal. Most of the traffic was cleared but there are still 1,200 Kashmir-bound trucks and about 400 light motor vehicles which are stranded at various places on the highway,” he said. “The highway is closed for traffic. We are monitoring the situation and a decision to resume traffic depends on the improvement in the weather and clearance of the road.”
He said there is a threat of landslides and the stranded vehicles were shifted to safer places.
The official said that Mughal Road – connecting the Valley with Pir Panchal – and Srinagar-Leh National Highway remained closed for traffic. “After snow avalanches had blocked Zojila Pass, it had been cleared fully. But now after fresh snow, we need to evaluate the road condition,” the official added.
FLIGHTS OPERATE SMOOTHLY
Despite inclement weather, Srinagar International Airport saw all the daily flights operate smoothly, said Director Airports Authority of India, Srinagar Airport, Santosh Dhoke. “The runway visibility met standards required for landing and take-off of aircrafts. This helped in smooth flight operations,” said Dhoke.