Srinagar: The higher reaches of Kashmir, Pir Panchal and Zojila region received fresh snowfall on Sunday while rains lashed plains, even as Meteorological Department ( MeT) has predicted widespread light snowfall in plains and a moderate spell of snowfall in the upper reaches on Monday.
“Light to moderate snow (2 to 3 inches) in plains and moderate snow (5 to 6 inches) over higher reaches most likely from later tonight till tomorrow (27th evening/night). Some places of higher reaches may receive up to 1 feet of snow,” said Director MeT, Sonam Lotus.
The MeT forecast said that light to moderate snow was likely at many places of Kargil and at scattered places of Leh district. “During December 26 (night) to 27th (night) moderate to heavy snow is most likely on Zojila-Minamarg axis.”
The MeT forecast said that barring some places on higher reaches, there's no forecast of any major snowfall in both Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. As per MeT officials Gurez, Razdan Pass, Z-Gali , Nathatop and Patnitop recorded almost 2 to 3 inches of fresh snowfall till Sunday evening.
Ski-resort Gulmarg in north Kashmir also recorded 1 to 2 inches of fresh snowfall till evening.
Meanwhile, the higher reaches of Jammu province witnessed the first snowfall of the season at Patnitop,Nathatop and Jawahar tunnel on Sunday. Reports received from Nathtop and Jawahar Tunnel said one to two inches of snow was recorded in these areas. Hill resort Patnitop and Sanasar saw a heavy rush of tourists since Sunday morning enjoying snowfall. The Nathatop peak and Sanasar slopes witnessed snowfall on Sunday afternoon. Temperatures in most of the areas along the Srinagar- Jammu National
Highway witnessed a sharp decrease on Sunday amid moderate to heavy rains. The inclement weather brought down the temperature and bone chilling cold is being felt across Kashmir and Pir Panchal.
Fresh rainfall and snowfall in the upper reaches that started on Sunday morning in areas of Rajouri and Poonch has caused shivering cold conditions.
The Mughal Road that connects Shopian with Pir Panchal also remained closed for fourth consecutive day on Sunday with level of snowfall on road increasing upto around three feet.
As per reports received from areas of twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch, upper reaches continued to receive fresh snowfall while rainfall in plains started on Sunday morning and was going on when last reports were received.
"Snowfall and rainfall that started in the morning hours continued throughout the day and was going on till late evening hours," said locals.
Rainfall and snowfall has caused the cold wave conditions to intensify in the entire Pir Panchal region. The Mughal Road on the other hand continued to remain closed for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday as the level of accumulation of snowfall has further increased.
“Level of snowfall that has accumulated on the road has increased even up to three feet near Pir Ki Gali." said Deputy SP Traffic, Rajouri Poonch, Aftab Shah.
(With inputs from MM Parvaiz in Ramban and Sumit Bhargav in Rajouri)