Traffic to be allowed from Srinagar towards both Jammu and Kargil today
Srinagar: As New Year’s eve drew closer, the upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir received fresh snowfall while the plains of Kashmir valley received light snowfall on Tuesday, leaving the entire valley carpeted with fresh snow.
The snowfall on Tuesday marked the second spell of snowfall in Kashmir valley in the current season of winter. Weather officials told Kashmir Reader that the snowfall started early morning on Tuesday, and continued for the next few hours. While upper reaches received moderate amount of snowfall, lower reaches and plains received mild to light snowfall during the same period, they said.
The famous ski-resort Gulmarg received snowfall of about one foot on Tuesday, while tourist destinations Pahalgam and Sonamarg witnessed lesser snowfall of two to three inches, the officials said.
Kokernag in south Kashmir recorded snowfall of about seven inches while neighbouring Qazigund recorded snowfall of about nine inches. Gurez in north Kashmir recorded about three inches of snowfall during the same period. Its adjacent Kupwara district received as little as 0.5 inches of snowfall.
Srinagar city along with some other districts of Kashmir valley received only mild snowfall on Tuesday, in addition to a significant amount of rainfall.
The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway remained largely unaffected by the fresh snowfall, except for closure of one or two hours during the night of Tuesday.
In Jammu region, Bhaderwah district received about seven inches of snowfall on Tuesday, with Banihal and its neighbouring Batote recording two inches of snowfall each, the officials said.
The weather will improve on Wednesday and will remain dry up to the next week, till 3rd of January, but night temperatures will continue to dip further below zero level in the coming days, the weather officials said.
“As predicted by our department earlier, the upper reaches as well as plains received snowfall on Tuesday. The weather will start to improve by Tuesday night, and on Wednesday there will be a significant change in the weather, which is likely to remain dry till 3rd January,” Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Deputy Director, Meteorological Department, J&K, told Kashmir Reader.
The widespread snowfall also led to a plunge in maximum as well as minimum temperatures across Kashmir valley. Srinagar recorded a maximum of 4.8 degree Celsius and minimum of 0 degree Celsius on Tuesday, against the maximum of 10.5 degree Celsius and minimum of 0.6 degree Celsius a day earlier.
Similarly, Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a maximum temperature of 5.5 degree Celsius and minimum temperature of minus 0.4 degree Celsius. Pahalgam recorded a maximum of 1.2 degree Celsius and minimum of minus 3.0 degree Celsius.
Gulmarg continued to be the coldest in Kashmir with minus 2.6 degree Celsius maximum temperature and minus 7.5 degree Celsius minimum temperature. Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded maximum temperature of 8.3 degree Celsius and minus 1.0 degree Celsius as minimum temperature.
Regarding traffic movement on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the traffic department said on Tuesday that subject to fair weather conditions, traffic will be allowed to move from Srinagar towards Jammu on Wednesday. For the movement of Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs), it said, “Subject to fair weather conditions and clearance of road, HMVs shall be allowed from Zig (Qazigund) towards Jammu from 10 AM to 2 PM.”
For Mughal Road, the department said that the road remains closed due to the accumulation of snow.
For Srinagar-Leh highway, the department said that subject to fair weather conditions, traffic will be allowed from Srinagar towards Kargil through Sonamarg via Gumri road.
“LMVs shall be allowed from 11 AM to 2 PM from Sonamarg. Commuters may carry anti-skid chain to gain more grip on the slippery road,” it said.