Srinagar: The night-long rains and fresh snowfall in higher reaches has brought respite to the people of Kashmir from the prolonged dry spell with weatherman predicting more rains and snow for the next 24 hours, predicting that the weather conditions would likely improve from Dec 12 evening.
Interestingly, the rains as well as the snow started in the intervening night of Sunday-Monday, bringing further dip in the temperatures during the daytime.
“The higher reaches including Zojilla, Drass, Kargil and Gulmarg received a fresh snowfall today,” Director Meteorological (MeT) department, Sonum Lotus informed ‘Kashmir Vision’.
He said that light snowfall was also recorded at the other famous tourist resort Pahalgam in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The Director informed that the world famous ski-resort, Gulmarg recorded 10 inches of fresh snowfall till Monday afternoon.
He said that there is possibility of more rains and snow in the plains and the higher reaches respectively during the next 12-24 hours.
“We are predicting light to moderate rains in the plains and light to moderate snowfall in the higher reaches for the next 12-24 hours,” he said, adding that the weather conditions would start improving from Dec 12 evening.
“As of now, there is no prediction of heavy snowfall in the next 24 hours,” he said.
Meanwhile, the officials in the MeT department said that Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of 3.1 degrees Celsius, up by over four degrees from the previous night’s minus 1.2 degrees Celsius. “Srinagar received 4.3 mm of rainfall during the night,” they added.
Pertinently, the traffic on Srinagar-Jammu highway was through for the day despite snowfall being reported in the hills around Jawahar Tunnel, however, during the evening the road was closed for vehicular traffic.
“The commuters were allowed to move towards their destinations. The traffic on the highway was going on smoothly from the either sides, however, due to continuous downpour the highway was closed for traffic by late evening ,” the officials said.
Mughal road closed
Authorities on Sunday evening decided to close the Mughal road, an alternate link between Kashmir and the rest of the country for the vehicular movement in view of the ‘bad weather’ advisory.
The alternate link road connecting Valley with rest of the Valley was closed for vehicular traffic due to snowfall, the officials said.
The traffic on the Mughal road was suspended around 4:00 pm yesterday as a precautionary measure in view of the weather forecast, officials said.
“No vehicle was allowed to move on the road from either side this morning. A 25-km stretch of the road from Peer Ki Gali to Pachana (Poonch) is covered by snow,” he added.
One flight cancelled
The flight scheduled saw a disruption when a Go-Air was cancelled in view of the bad weather conditions.
Director of Airport Authority of India (AAI), Sharad Kumar told ‘Kashmir Vision’ that in view of the bad weather conditions, one flight of Go-Air was cancelled today while the rest of the flights were operated normally.
Those misquoting me create panic, says Lotus
Director Meteorological (MeT) department, Sonum Lotus on Monday said that the media organization which misquoted him created chaos among people.
“It won’t ever hurt, but the fake news being circulated is creating panic among the people,” he said while talking to ‘Kashmir Vision’.
Lotus further said that the government’s gearing up for the weather conditions is a good step.
“The arrangements by the government were not made in view of any weather catastrophe but for the well-being of people. These arrangements were made in the past as well,” he said.
He said that the media organizations should go through the MeT’s weather forecast statement to check the further prediction.
“I never said that heavy snowfall will occur. Whatever I have said is also mentioned in our daily forecast statements,” he said.
Earlier, reports quoting the Sonum Lotus had said that heavy snowfall would occur in Kashmir and in view of the weather forecast, the government is making arrangements to deal with the situation, which was refuted by Lotus, as he termed the reports as ‘baseless’.