The Meteorological Department has predicted light to moderate snowfall on Wednesday and the wet spell to continue till Thursday noon. In the latest forecast issued, Director MeT Sonam Lotus said snowfall was likely to start on Tuesday night and the wet spell was likely to continue till Thursday noon.
“Under the influence of a fresh Western Disturbance, scattered to widespread light to moderate rain/snow very likely in J&K during February 2nd night to 4th February forenoon. Plains of Jammu are likely to experience thunderstorms, lightning and hail mainly on 3rd February,” Lotus said.
The MeT advisory said there were “very less chances of heavy precipitation in plains of J&K but heavy snowfall especially on higher reaches of J&K cannot be ruled out either especially on 3rd February.”
The MeT advisory said the snowfall could lead to temporary closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway due to landslides. It also warned of a possible disruption in air traffic at the Srinagar International Airport. “Delay, disruption in flight operation on 3rd February likely at Srinagar Airport due to snowfall leading to poor visibility,” the advisory said adding that slippery road conditions due to snowfall and low temperature during morning hours was expected.
The MeT advisory has asked commuters to embark on journey on Srinagar-Jammu highway after confirming road status from the Traffic Department to avoid inconvenience. It has also asked travellers to be in contact with Airport Authority or travel agents to check flight status. “Drive cars slowly and carefully to avoid accidents. Maintain proper drainage of fields to drain out excess water,” the MeT advisory said. It said there was a possibility of light snowfall likely at scattered places of Kargil, Drass, Minagarg, Zanskar and on higher reaches of Leh district on 3rd February. The Valley had recorded a heavy snowfall during January 3 and 6 cutting off Kashmir from the outside world for several days as both air and surface traffic were affected.
After a day of some respite from the cold wave, the night temperatures in the Valley on Monday night again witnessed a decrease as summer capital recorded minus 4.6 degrees, several notches down from temperatures recorded a day earlier. Ski-resort Gulmarg recorded minus 7 degrees Celsius on Monday night. Pahalgam as per MeT data was the coldest recorded station in the Valley and recorded minus 9.3 degrees Celsius on Monday night. Dry and cold conditions witnessed in the Valley on Tuesday saw Srinagar record 2.5 degrees Celsius maximum temperatures while Gulmarg 2.4 degrees Celsius on Tuesday. With a forecast for the wet spell for next two days, the MeT has predicted an improvement in night temperatures with “warmer nights and colder days”.
“Due to approaching Western Disturbance, there will be an increase in cloud cover over both J&K and Ladakh. As a result, there will be a rise in minimum temperature by 2-3 degrees and a fall in day temperature by 4-5 degrees. Warmer nights and colder days from tonight till 4th February,” the MeT forecast said.
Meanwhile, people continue to suffer due to frozen supply lines caused by freezing temperatures being recorded regularly for the last two weeks. On January 30, Srinagar had recorded the coldest night of the last 30 years on the last night of Chilai Kalan at minus 8.8 degrees Celsius.