Most parts of Kashmir including the plains has received fresh snowfall on Thursday night which continued till Friday morning, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir that recorded 5.6 mm of snowfall till 8:30 am Friday which led to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway which is the only all-weather road-link that connects the valley with the rest of the country. The MeT Office has forecast intermittent light precipitation for the next 24 hours.
Pahalgam health resort which also serves as one of the base camps for the annual Amarnath yatra received 11.4 mm of snow whereas the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recorded 3.4 mm of snow. The plains of the valley received light snowfall; there are reports of moderate snowfall in the higher reaches of the state. The traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was suspended this morning due to the snowfall and slippery conditions, the decision to resume traffic on the national highway would be taken once there is improvement in the weather and the road is cleared off the snow, an official of the Traffic Control Room said.
However, the flight operations at the Srinagar airport took place normally. Meanwhile, the minimum temperature at Srinagar settled at minus one degree Celsius on Thursday night, down from the previous night’s low of minus 0.3 degree Celsius, the MeT official said.
The gateway town to the valley in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 1.2 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 2.2 degrees Celsius on Thursday night. The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 0.6 degree Celsius whereas Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 7.5 degrees Celsius on Thursday night, a degree up from the previous night, the official said.
The official said that Leh recorded a low of minus 9.5 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in Drass settled at a low of minus 15.2 degrees Celsius. Drass was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir. The weather is likely to remain cloudy and there is possibility of light snowfall in some of the areas of Kashmir which would persist till the next 24 hours.
It is said that there is possibility of overall improvement in the weather from Sunday. Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai Kalan’, the 40 days harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum and the temperature drops considerably. ‘Chillai Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40 days period is followed by a 20 days long ‘Chillai Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold).