Five-Day Snow Spell From January 19 Predicted In Kashmir Valley

People advised to stock up on essentials

Srinagar: Kashmir was enveloped in snow againon Wednesday, halting flight operations at the Srinagar international airport following poor visibility. Although the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was open amid snowfall, many inter-district roads were closed.

The weather office has forecast another spell of snow from January 19 to 23 due to heavy precipitation.The MeT department has asked people to plan their travel accordingly.

Moderate snowfall started early in the morning in the mountains and then in the plains, slowing down pace of life in the Valley as people confined themselves indoors and markets witnessed moderate footfall.

Jammu and Kashmir police in a tweet wrote: “Road Status: #Srinagar-Jammu highway open, Traffic plying from Srinagar to #Jammu; Srinagar-Kargil road Closed; Anantnag-Kishtwar road Closed; Mughal Road closed; Bandipora-Gurez road closed; Kupwara-Karnah, Kupwara-Keran, Kupwara-Machail roads closed.”

“It has been snowing lightly in central Kashmir while there is moderate to heavy snowfall in mountains particularly in some areas of north Kashmir,” director, meteorological office, Sonam Lotus, said.

Divisional commissioner (Kashmir), Baseer Ahmad Khan on Wednesday issued a fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of the division including Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh districts.

The administration has kept at least 23 snow clearance machines ready. “If snowfall continues and there is some substantial accumulation on roads, we will be putting the snow clearance machines into service after midnight so that the arterial roads are clear by Thursday morning,” executive engineer, mechanical engineering department, Abdul Rashid Bhat said.

“For two days from Thursday the weather is expected to be fine, which will give a window period for people travelling in and out of the state as usually the highway gets closed and flights are cancelled during heavy snowfall,” Sonam Lotus said.

He also advised people to keep a proper stock of eatables besides keeping their warm clothes and heating devices ready.

Srinagar weather office has been the busiest centre in January owing to four spells of snow so far.

The Valley received its first snow of the year on January 2 bringing respite in the chilly conditions followed by widespread snowfall on January 5, which had closed the national highway and disrupted air traffic. January 11 also witnessed snowfall across the Valley.

Tourists are pouring in to experience the snow covered meadows, picturesque Himalayan mountains, pine forests and ice streams flowing across the Valley.

Srinagar recorded minimum temperatures of minus 2.1°C, minus 3°C in ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir and minus 4.2°C in Pahalgam in south Kashmir. Kargil was the coldest at minus 20°C while it was minus 16.2°C in Drass.

Srinagar received season’s first snowfall on November 3, setting the tone for wet weather early this season. It was after nine years that the city was draped in white in November.

Kashmir also experienced mild rains and snow in first half of December while it remained cold and dry during rest of the month.

The intense winter (Challai Kalan) starts in the valley from December 21 and lasts for 40 days followed by Chillai Khurd (20 days which are less intense) and Chillai Bache (10 days of mild cold). (HT)

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