Mercury falls as Valley receives snowfall, rains

Srinagar: Higher reaches of Kashmir on Friday received snowfall while intermittent rains continued in the plains for the second consecutive day leading to a steep drop in the day temperature and forcing the closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway which is blocked by landslides.

The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg was among the areas in the Valley that received snowfall during the night. Seven inches of snow was recorded in the last 24 hours, a MeT Department official said.

Many areas en route the 300 km long, Srinagar-Jammu national Highway also received rainfall leading to the closure of the highway, the only all weather road-link connecting Kashmir valley with rest of the country.

The highway is closed for traffic because of the rainfall which led to landslides at some places, a Traffic Department official said.

Srinagar, summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir recorded a temperature a minimum temperature of 1.9 degrees Celsius yesterday while the maximum temperature settled at 4.3 degrees Celsius, 10 notches below normal.

The city recorded 21.8 mm of rainfall during the last 24 hours, the official of the Meteorological Department said.

Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir received 28 mm of rains, while Kokernag town recorded 23.2 mm of rainfall.

Qazigund recorded 25.4 mm and Kupwara 14.2 mm of rainfall during the last 24 hours, he said.

Widespread rains have been predicted in the plains for the next two days, the official said, adding the possibility of light to moderate snowfall in the higher reaches of Kashmir.

Keeping in view the inclement weather, a weather advisory has also been issued by the Divisional Commissioner and all the Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir division have been directed to take immediate precautionary measures for security and safety of the public, an official spokesman said.

An avalanche warning has also been issued and people have been asked to remain away from avalanche prone areas for today and tomorrow.