MeT forecasts rains, snow in next 24 hours; Highway shut for night traffic
Srinagar, Jan 21: The ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir and parts of frontier district of Kupwara Wednesday received fresh snowfall even as the Meteorological department predicted snow and rains across Kashmir in next 24 hours. The authorities decided to stop movement of traffic during nights on the Srinagar-Jammu highway as it started snowing at Patnitop and Jawahir Tunnel on Wednesday evening, officials said.
“Gulmarg received one-inch snow since Wednesday afternoon,” MeT Director, Sonam Lotus, told Greater Kashmir.
He said they are expecting light snowfall and rains in next 24 hours.
“A fresh western disturbance has become active and will result in snow and rains. Weather will improve from January 23 afternoon,” he said.
Lotus said Gulmarg recorded the minimum temperature of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius against minus 3.6 degrees Celsius yesterday.
Due continuous snowfall at Jawahir Tunnel and Patnitop, the authorities decided to close Srinagar-Jammu highway for night traffic. “It is snowing and we are closing the highway for the night,” Inspector General of Police (Traffic), Muneer Ahmad Khan told Greater Kashmir.
He said people should contact traffic authorities before deciding to travel on the highway.
Reports of snowfall from higher reaches of Kupwara also poured in.
“Moderate snowfall occurred at Chowkibal, Kacchhama, Hafrada, Melyal, Nowgam, Hayhama, Kalaroos, Warnow, Doben and several other higher reaches while rains lashed plains of Kupwara and Handwara,” reports said.
The MeT official said it is for the first time in past week that the temperature recorded in Srinagar was above freezing point. “Srinagar recorded a low of 1.7 degrees Celsius, four notches above minus 2.4 degrees Celsius of the previous night,” he said.
Amid light showers and cloudy conditions, cold wave tightened its grip over Jammu region on Wednesday, while the Meteorological Department predicted more rains and snowfall in parts of Chenab Valley and Pirpanchal areas, during next 24 hours.
“There is possibility of moderate rain and snowfall in many parts of the region in next 24 hours,” a MeT department official told Greater Kashmir. He said the cold conditions have intensified in the region with maximum temperature plunging many notches below normal. “In Bhaderwah, Batote and Bahinal the day temperature was recorded around 10 notches below normal and night at around 5 notches below,” he said.
He said Banihal recorded 2.0 mm rain, Batote 1.6 mm, Katra 0.4 mm, and Bhaderwah 1.4 mm on Wednesday it started snowing at some isolated places in the region.
Meanwhile in view of inclement weather condition, the Ramban district administration has issued advisory asking people “to take necessary precautionary measures to avoid any untoward incident.”
As per an official spokesperson, the district administration issued avalanche warnings from Jan 21st to 23rd, while the concerned Departments of Disaster Management have been asked to remain alert during the period.
(With inputs from Shahid Rafiq in Kupwara.)