Rains lashed plains while upper reaches of the Valley received light to moderate snowfall since Sunday night, the Meteorological Department has predicted the ongoing wet spell to continue till Thursday forenoon. The fresh spell of snowfall has led to the closure of Srinagar-Leh National Highway and the Mughal Road, connecting the Valley with the Pir Panchal region.
Light rainfall started in the plains on Sunday night while its intensity increased since Monday morning. Higher reaches including ski-resort Gulmarg in Baramulla has recorded over 1 feet of fresh snowfall, MeT officials said. Other higher reaches including Pir ki Galli, Sadhna Top, Karnah, Kupwara, Zojila pass also received moderate snowfall, officials said.
Several towns of the Valley were also draped in a fresh blanket of snow. Fresh snowfall in the higher reaches especially Gulmarg is attracting tourists in large numbers.
As per a weather advisory issued on Monday, MeT officials said the ongoing wet spell was likely to continue till Thursday noon. As per MeT data, summer capital Srinagar recorded 5.7 millimetre rainfall while Gulmarg recorded 24 mm, Qazigund 4.2 mm, Pahalgam 22.9 mm, Kupwara 14 mm, Banihal 14.4 mm, Batote 4.4 mm and Bhaderwah 2.8 mm rainfall during the last two days.
Rains cause sharp fall in day temperatures:
The rainfall and fresh spell of snow has brought some relief in the night temperatures. Srinagar which had recorded the coldest night of the season on Saturday at minus 3 degrees Celsius on Sunday night recorded above zero temperature at 1.5 degrees Celsius.
However, the incessant rains and fresh spell of snowfall has caused a sharp fall in day temperatures. Srinagar on Monday recorded the coldest day temperature of the season so far at 3.7 degrees Celsius. Gulmarg was the coldest recorded place in the Valley at 0.5 degrees Celsius while Pahalgam in south Kashmir recorded 2.7 degrees Celsius maximum temperature. More people could be seen using the traditional Kangri and electric devices to keep themselves warm. The usage of traditional hamam for heating purposes has already picked up this season.
Avalanche warning issued:
The Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) on Monday issued avalanche warnings for several areas of the Valley and Ladakh. SASE has issued a "2nd level Yellow warning" for Anantnag, Kulgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and Ganderbal. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has also issued a "Orange colour warning" which advises people to be vigilant and alert for higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir and Sonmarg-Zojila axis. As per MeT, the ongoing inclement weather will cause a temporary disruption of Zojila, Banihal-Ramban axis and Mughal Road.
Normal flight operations at Srinagar Airport:
Despite the inclement weather, normal flight operations took place at the Srinagar International Airport on Monday. Officials said the runway visibility was sufficient for aircraft landing and take-offs.