Srinagar, Nov 15: Light snowfall and widespread rains lashed parts of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday breaking the extended dry spell which had affected the region for the past many months.
The Srinagar-Jammu national highway authorities have asked the people to avoid travelling on the highway for the next few days as there are chances of blockade owing to the inclement weather.
The precipitation was prompted in northern and central parts of Kashmir after a western disturbance hit the region on Friday bringing rains in some parts on Saturday.
By Sunday evening, heavy snowfall began at both ends of Jawahar Tunnel but vehicles were moving through the tunnel that connects the Kashmir region to Jammu.
It was also raining in other parts of Ramban district in the evening.
“As expected, moderate snow with isolated heavy fall was recorded on higher reaches of J&K, Zojila and in Drass area. System persisted even today. Rain and snow will to continue on Sunday at many places but significant improvement is likely from Monday,” India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) Dr Sonam Lotus wrote in a Facebook post.
The Meteorological centre in Srinagar said that there was light snowfall in Gulmarg while it rained in many parts of the Valley.
“Gulmarg received 4.5 inches of snow on Sunday and 7 inches on Saturday. Besides, there was heavy rainfall in north Kashmir and light rain in southern parts,” said an official of the meteorological department.
He said that Kupwara was drenched by 14 mm of rains on Sunday and 71 mm on Saturday. “In Jammu, there were 12.4 mm rains and 8.8 mm in Katra,” he said.
In Srinagar, there were traces of rain in these two days.
The meteorological department’s deputy director Mukhtar Ahmad said that the weather is expected to improve from Monday. “The sun will also come out on Monday afternoon. There is a prediction of another wet spell on November 18,” he said.
Meteorologist Mohammad Hussain Mir said that snowfall was less this time owing to an increase in night temperatures from November 13.
“The snowfall was less as the minimum temperature on the night of November 13 and 14 had increased to 6 degree Celsius which changed the nature of the precipitation. Subsequently tomorrow there would be improvement in weather,” he said.
The MeT office said that the maximum temperature in Srinagar was 7.7 degree Celsius while it was 2.3 degree during the Saturday night.
The traffic department has asked people to avoid travelling on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway as there are chances of blockades due to landslides.
“However subject to fair weather and road conditions, light motor vehicles will be allowed from Jammu to Srinagar,” said the department in a statement.
It said that the Mughal Road and Leh-Kargil roads are blocked owing to accumulation of snow
As against the monsoon in the rest of the country, Kashmir mostly owes its precipitation to winds blowing from the Mediterranean Sea which is y called ‘Western Disturbance’.
The union territory has been witnessing unusually dry weather this year causing immense problems in the availability of water for irrigation as well as drinking.
On November 4, there was very light snowfall in the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh but there was no precipitation for the plains.
The summer this year was abnormally dry.
“The year saw abnormally dry weather in J&K. The precipitation due to Western Disturbance was almost zero while the rainfall due to monsoon from July 1 to October 1 was 35 per cent less than normal,” said Mohammad Hussain
Light to moderate rains also lashed the Jammu region on Sunday afternoon.
Traffic police in Jammu advised people against driving to Srinagar on the national highway till Tuesday when the weather is expected to be clear.
“The highway is functioning as of now. There are overcast conditions in Ramban after light rains. We are advising the people to avoid undertaking journeys on Jammu-Srinagar national highway (NH 44) till Tuesday when weather opens up.” JS Johar, SSP Traffic, Kashmir (highway) said.
He also advised the people to cross check the status of the highway from Ramban TCP before undertaking the journey.
The Mughal Road, an alternate link between the Kashmir Valley and the rest of the country, was also closed for vehicular traffic on Saturday following snowfall.
Pir Ki Gali, the highest point on the Mughal Road, received further snowfall on Sunday.(PTI)