Snowfall raises temperatures, spirits in Kashmir valley

Snowfall raises temperatures, spirits in Kashmir valley
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SRINAGAR: Except capital city Srinagar, Kashmir Valley received rain and snowfall on Wednesday after a nearly two-month-long spell of dry and intense cold. The weather is likely to remain the same till Sunday, the official weather office has said.
An official of the meteorological (MeT) department told Kashmir Reader that Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Pir Panchal mountain range and other places received moderate snowfall on Wednesday.
“The snowfall has briefly ended the chill in the air. It has also led to increase in the day temperature. These conditions are likely to remain till Sunday,” he said.
According to him, the night temperature in Srinagar went up to 0 degree Celsius from -7.8. Similarly, Pahalgam’s night temperature went up to 0.5, while Kupwara had night temperature of 0.2 degree Celsius.
The 300-kilometre-long Jammu-Srinagar highway and the Mughal Road, which connects Jammu’s Poonch and Rajouri districts with south Kashmir’s Shopian, have been closed for vehicular traffic after the fresh snowfall. Authorities have closed both roads as precautionary measure, due to which scores of vehicles have been stranded on the Jammu-Srinagar highway. Snow clearance vehicles have been deployed to clear roads for traffic.
Fresh snow fell today at Baramulla, Pattan, Tangmarg, Gulmarg, Rafiabad, Langate, Handwara, Kupwara, Keran, Tangdar, Bandipora, and Guraz.
This year, the 40-day long period of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ has shown its true colours, after many years. Taps and vehicles became frozen by the intense cold in recent days. Inhabitants took to traditional methods of staying warm as electricity supply was frequently interrupted by both scheduled and unscheduled power cuts.
Kashmir received the season’s first snowfall unusually early, in the first week of November, but since then saw only dry, biting weather. The snowfall in November had caused much damage, to apple crops, power transmission lines, orchards, trees. But the snowfall around the new year has brought plenty of tourists, and much-needed cheer to the beleaguered tourism industry.