Srinagar: Many areas in the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir received fresh snowfall even as there was improvement in the minimum temperature across the Valley, providing some respite from the cold to the residents, officials said on Monday.
Fresh snowfall was recorded in many areas in the higher reaches of the valley and the Jammu region during the night, the officials said.
They said the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, recorded two inches of snow, while Pahalgam resort, in the south, and Sonamarg resort, in central Kashmir, each received around an inch of snow.
Gurez in north Kashmir recorded three inches of fresh snowfall, the officials said, adding there are reports of snowfall in other areas in the upper reaches of the valley as well.
Many areas in the Jammu region also received fresh snowfall, they said.
The officials said the area around the Jawahar Tunnel — on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway — received two to four inches of snow, leading to temporary disruption of traffic movement on the highway.
The traffic on the highway — the only all-weather road-link connecting the valley with the rest of the country was suspended for some time in the morning, but was allowed later after the clearance of snow, the officials said.
The overcast conditions led to an increase in the night temperature across the Kashmir valley during the night, providing huge relief to the residents, the officials said.
They said the minimum temperature in Srinagar — the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir — increased nearly six degrees from minus 5.2 degrees Celsius the previous night to settle above the freezing point at 0.6 degrees Celsius Snday night.
The officials said the mercury in Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir settled at minus 1.3 degrees Celsius, up over four degrees from the previous night’s low of minus 5.9 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 6.5 degrees Celsius up from minus 7.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.
The resort was the coldest recorded place in the valley, they added.
Qazigund — the gateway town to the valley — recorded the minimum of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius, while Kupwara, in the north, registered a low of minus 0.5 degrees Celsius and Kokernag, in the south, minus 1.5 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ — the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.
The chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall, the officials said.
While ‘Chillai-Kalan’ — which began on December 21 — will end on January 31, the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold) following it.
The MeT office has said the weather would likely remain dry till January 3. (PTI)