Minus 12 in Gulmarg, – 21.4 in Kargil; traffic from Jammu towards Srinagar today
Srinagar: With only a few days left for the departure of ‘Chillai-Kalaan’, the meteorological department in J&K on Wednesday predicted the possibility of light snowfall in upper reaches as well as plains of Kashmir valley for a period of four days, starting this weekend, up to Wednesday next week.
Complete information about the likely intensity of snowfall is yet to be known and will be determined over the next two days, the department said.
“A fresh western disturbance is likely to impact Jammu and Kashmir by Sunday, which will remain effective till Wednesday. It may bring light snowfall in scattered and isolated places of Kashmir valley, and the effect will be seen in both higher reaches and plains. We are yet to get the complete information of its intensity and impact, but it seems that the precipitation will remain quite less,” Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Deputy Director of the Meteorological Department in J&K, told Kashmir Reader.
Kashmir valley is currently enduring the last days of ‘Chillai-Kalaan’, the 40-day harshest winter period which begins on December 21 and ends on January 30. This year, the Chillai-Kalan broke records of past 26 years of minimum temperatures, with Srinagar city recording a low of minus 8.4 degree Celsius on January 14, the lowest temperature recorded since 1991.
Minimum temperatures dipped again on Wednesday in several parts of the valley, except in Srinagar and Kokernag. As per weather officials, Srinagar recorded a low of minus 2.0 degree Celsius, slightly up from minus 2.4 degree Celsius on the previous night. Kokernag recorded minus 8.3 degree Celsius, against minus 9.0 degree Celsius on the earlier night.
The mercury in ski-resort Gulmarg settled at a low of minus 12.0 degree Celsius, slightly down from 11.5 degree Celsius a night before. Pahalgam recorded minus 7.7 degree Celsius, slightly lower than the minus 7.1 degree Celsius on the previous night.
Qazigund in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4.4 degree Celsius against minus 2.8 degree Celsius on the earlier night, while Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded minus 2.0 degree Celsius as against minus 1.4 degree Celsius on the previous night.
The Ladakh region continued to remain in the grip of extreme cold with Leh recording a low of minus 15.1 degree Celsius, and Kargil freezing at minus 21.4 degree Celsius on Wednesday.
Traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway will ply from Jammu towards Srinagar on Thursday, the traffic department said, subject to fair weather and road conditions. Only one-way traffic will be allowed from Jammu towards Srinagar including the local traffic plying in Ramban and Banihal, which comes in the middle of the highway, the department said.
No vehicle shall be allowed in the opposite direction including ones carrying livestock and perishable commodities, the traffic department said. It added that the weight-bearing capacity of the installed Bailey bridge is less than 40 metric tonnes, so vehicles will have to adhere to the weight limit.
Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs) will be allowed from 8 AM in the morning till 12 PM in the afternoon from Nagrota in Jammu towards Kashmir and subsequently from Jakheni in Udhampur from 9 AM to 1 PM. Heavy Motor Vehicles (HMVs) will be allowed from Jakheni in Udhampur towards Jammu after the clearance of LMVs.