SRINAGAR: Rains and snow continued in Jammu and Kashmir, leading to the cancellation of at least eight flights to and fro Srinagar ‘international’ airport while several far-flung areas remained cut off on Wednesday.
The Jammu-Srinagar highway, the only surface link connecting Kashmir Valley with the rest of the world, remained through for traffic but the authorities have urged commuters to avoid travel on the thoroughfare.
“Widespread rain/snow with heavy to very snow (above 2 feet over higher reaches) occurred since yesterday,” said a meteorological department official here told. He said a “significant decrease” in precipitation was expected from today evening.
“Expect another (heavy to very heavy) spell during January 7-8th,” he said, adding, “People are once again requested not to venture in avalanche prone area as our data shows that most avalanches are triggered during Intense heavy snowfall.” He also urged people to follow traffic advisory and maintain proper ventilation of rooms.
Meanwhile, the official said Srinagar recorded rain and snowfall of 5mm in 24 hours till 0830 hours today. The summer capital of J&K, he said, recorded a low of 0.8°C against previous night’s 0.6°C. It was 2.9°C above normal for this time of the year, he said.
Kashmir is presently under the grip of 40-day long harshest period of winter, known locally as ‘Chillai Kalan, which started from December 21. It is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ and a 10-day-long ‘Chilla Bachha’.
Gulmarg had 33mm of fresh snowfall during the time and the mercury settled at minus 4.0°C against minus 5.0°C on the previous night at the world-famous resort, he said.
Qazigund, the gateway town of Kashmir, had 15mm of rain and snow during the time while as it recorded a low of 0.8°C against 0.8°C on the previous night, he said. Pahalgam, the famous resort in south Kashmir, had 15mms of snowfall and recorded a low of minus 0.4°C against minus 1.2°C on previous night, he said.
Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, had 8mm of rain or snow even as it recorded a low of 0.1°C against minus 0.4°C on previous night, the official said.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir had 12mm of snowfall and recorded a minimum of 0.0°C against 0.2°C on the previous night, the official said.
Reports reaching said that Bandipora-Gurez road remained closed amid fresh and continuing snowfall. Main Bandipora had 3.4 inches of snow, 2.0ft at Razdan top, 2ft at Tulail and 1.5ft at Dawar, they said. Reports said that there was 1.5ft of snowfall recorded around Sonamarg in Ganderbal district.
Also Machil, Karna and Keran roads have been closed as higher reaches of Kupwara received 2.0ft snow. Jammu recorded a low of 11.6°C, down by two notches from the precious night and normal of 7.3°C for the J&K’s winter capital during this time of the year, he said.
Ladakh’s Leh recorded a low of minus 7.3°C against last night’s minus 7.2°C while Kargil station recorded a minimum of minus 5.9°C, the official added.
Meanwhile, airport authorities here said that eight flights have been already cancelled due to poor visibility. They include Indigo 137 to Delhi, indigo 6738 to Jammu, Indigo 2015 to Delhi, Indigo 2364 to Delhi, GoFirst 358 to Delhi, Gofirst 193 to Delhi, GoFirst 267 to Delhi and Vistara 611 to Jammu. Yesterday 42 out of 44 flights to and fro Srinagar ‘International’ airport were cancelled due to the poor visibility. (GNS)