Srinagar: Kashmir and parts of Ladakh received fresh snowfall with highest in frontier district of Kupwara while authorities issued an avalanche alert across Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.
The snowfall in the plains of J&K broke the month-long prevailing dry spell across Kashmir.
The Meteorological Department officials said that the snowfall started in Kashmir late Thursday afternoon and continued intermittently till midnight.
They said amid cloud cover, minimum temperature recorded further increased in Kashmir on Friday after the snowfall.
The Mughal Road, Srinagar-Leh Highway, and Gurez, Tangdhar, and Machil roads passing through mountainous passes have been closed.
Emergency control rooms and helplines have been set up in every district of Kashmir while officials have been directed to remain present 24x7 to attend to emergencies.
Giving the break-up of snowfall, the MeT officials said Kupwara recorded the highest snowfall of 20 cm followed by ski-resort of Gulmarg with 16.5 cm, Qazigund 15 cm, Pahalgam 10 cm, Kokernag 5 cm, and Srinagar 3 cm in the last 24 hours till 8:30 am.
They said Leh district also received traces of snowfall.
The snowfall has resulted in the closure of most roads in Kupwara. Officials said that men and machinery was pressed into service and roads re-opened.
In the wake of snowfall, the authorities issued an avalanche advisory in different districts of J&K and Ladakh.
They have asked people to avoid going to the higher reaches. The advisory has been issued for the districts of Bandipora, Baramulla, Doda, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Ramban, and Kargil.
“Avalanches with low danger level are likely to occur above 2500 metres over Bandipora, Baramulla, Doda, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Ramban and Kargil in the next 24 hours. People are advised to avoid visiting the higher reaches,” reads the advisory issued by authorities. The MeT officials said that most places recorded a rise in night temperatures.
They said that for the first time in more than fortnight mercury increased above normal in Kashmir even though it hovered in the sub-zero level. The MeT officials said Srinagar recorded a low of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius against last night’s minus 3.2 degrees Celsius and 1.8 degrees Celsius above normal for the summer capital.
They said Qazigund recorded a low of minus 2 degrees Celsius against minus 3.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, and 0.3 degrees Celsius above normal for the gateway town of Kashmir. The MeT officials said that Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 4.9 degrees Celsius against minus 4.5 degrees Celsius the previous night and 0.3 degrees Celsius above normal for the famous Anantnag tourist resort in south Kashmir. They said another Anantnag resort, Kokernag recorded a low of minus 2 degrees Celsius against minus 2.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, and 0.7 degrees Celsius above normal for the place. The MeT officials said Gulmarg in Baramulla recorded a low of minus 5.5 degrees Celsius against minus 4.8 degrees Celsius the previous night, and 0.7 degrees Celsius above normal for the famed skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
They said that mercury in Kupwara town settled at minus 0.8 degrees Celsius against minus 3.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, and 1.7 degrees Celsius above normal for the north Kashmir town. The MeT said Jammu recorded a low of 7.3 degrees Celsius against 6 degrees Celsius the previous night, and 0.1 degree Celsius below normal for the winter capital, which also remained engulfed in fog in the morning.
They said that in cold desert region Ladakh, Leh recorded a low of minus 10.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil and minus 6.2 degrees Celsius.