Srinagar recorded the first snowfall of the season last night while other parts of Kashmir received fresh snowfall and rains for second consecutive day on Wednesday. The weatherman has predicted improvement in weather from Thursday morning even as there will be no significant change in temperatures.
"The weather will improve from Thursday morning," Director MeT Department Sonam Lotus told Greater Kashmir. He said that there will be another spell of rain and snow on Saturday night.
MeT officials said that Srinagar recorded snow and rains equivalent to rainfall of 12.4 mm during the last 24 hours while the city registered a minimum temperature of minus 0.1 degrees Celsius – up by half a degree from minus 0.6 degrees Celsius Tuesday.
They said that ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded over 15.7 inches of snow since Tuesday morning. "The light and intermittent rainfall continued in the resort on Wednesday," officials said adding Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 3.6 degrees Celsius, same as that of the previous night.
The officials said that around two feet of snow was recorded in Khilanmarg, Kongdoori and Apperwath in Gulmarg. The other areas which received snowfall for second consecutive day included Ganderbal, Keran, Machil, Karnah, Gurez, Shopian, Sonamarg.
MeT officials said that due to the cloudy sky, the night temperature at most places in Kashmir rose.
Due to the heavy snowfall at Peer-ki-Gali, the Mughal Road has been closed for vehicular traffic, officials said. The road has been closed from Wednesday between ChandiMarh in Bufliaz sector and Heerpora in Shopian sector.
At some places in Kupwara, snow clearance machines were pressed into service Wednesday morning. However, power supply was affected badly as wires have got disconnected due to the snowfall.
MeT officials said that Kupwara recorded 9 cm snow, while the night temperature settled at a low of minus 0.9 degrees Celsius.
Pahalgam received 12.5 cm snow while as the resort recorded a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius, they said. Qazigund recorded 3.2 mm of rainfall and the night temperature there settled at a low of 0.6 degrees Celsius.
Officials said that Leh continued to remain the coldest place in the state with a low of minus 7.7 degrees Celsius, up from the previous night's minus 10.5 degrees Celsius.
Officials said that temperature in Jammu was 12.1 degrees Celsisus.
Despite rains, the traffic department Wednesday said that traffic on 300 km long Srinagar-Jammu highway will ply on either side on Thursday.
The officials in the department said that subject to fair weather and good condition of road, traffic will ply both ways with the following restrictions: "From Jammu (Nagrota), Srinagar bound passenger vehicles will be allowed to move only between 0300 hours to 1400 hours while heavy vehicles will be permitted only between 0330 hours to 1300 hours. However, the movement of oil tankers shall be allowed upto 1400 hours. No Srinagar bound passenger vehicle and oil tanker will be permitted to cross Udhampur (JekhaniChowk) after 1600 hours while no heavy vehicle will be permitted after 1500 hours."
The officials also said that from Qazigund light motor vehicles shall be permitted to move towards Jammu only between 0800 hours to 1500 hours while heavy vehicles shall be permitted only between 0830 hours to 1400 hours. However, the movement of fruit laden heavy vehicles only shall be allowed upto 1500 hours.
END OF DRY SPELL IN KARGIL:
The long dry spell in Kargil ended with light snowfall from midnight, reports said. Kargil-Zanskar Road has been closed due to the snowfall and the Srinagar-Leh Highway was also closed on January 3, as per an order of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir. However, the Kargil-Leh Road is open for traffic.