JAMMU: Some areas in Kashmir received intermittent light snowfall amid a decrease in minimum temperatures in most parts of the Valley, officials said on Saturday.
The bad weather also forced closure of the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.
Authorities on Saturday suspended the traffic movement on Jammu-Srinagar national highway in view of shooting stones at Panthyal, officials said.
“Traffic movement stopped from both ends on Jammu Srinagar NHW in view of road blocked at Panthyal due to continuous shooting stones,” said an official of Traffic Police.
The Srinagar-Jammu highway is the only major surface link connecting Kashmir valley with the rest of the country.
Some areas in the Kashmir Valley, especially the upper reaches, received fresh light snowfall early on Saturday, the officials said.
Pahalgam, the tourist resort town in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, recorded 13 inches of snow in the last 24 hours, followed by eight inches in Kokernag, six inches in Qazigund and four inches in Shopian, they said.
There was very light snowfall in Srinagar, Ganderbal and some other areas in the plains.
Some other areas in Jammu and Kashmir received intermittent rainfall.
The inclement weather also hit air traffic to and from the Valley with many flights being delayed.
The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the only all-weather road connecting the Valley with the rest of the country, was closed for traffic due to shooting stones at Panthyal, the officials said.
Traffic will be restored once the road is cleared, they said.
Barring Srinagar and Qazigund, minimum temperatures went down everywhere else on Friday night.
In Srinagar, the mercury settled at 0.2 degrees Celsius from minus 0.1 degrees the night before. Qazigund, the gateway to the Valley, registered a low of minus 0.4 degrees Celsius.
Kokernag in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 3.9 degrees Celsius while the minimum temperature in Kupwara settled at minus 2.8 degrees.
Pahalgam, which serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a minimum temperature of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Gulmarg in Baramulla district was minus 8.4 degrees Celsius. The famous ski-resort town was the coldest place in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Met office has forecast wet weather in Jammu and Kashmir till Thusday due to western disturbances. There are chances of light rain or snow at fairly widespread places of the Union Territory on Saturday.
It predicted a much higher intensity of precipitation from Monday to Wednesday, with the possibility of moderate snow in the plains of Kashmir, moderate to heavy snow over the middle and higher reaches and rain in Jammu.
Light rain or snow could occur at isolated places on Thursday.
Kashmir is currently in the grip of ‘Chillai Kalan’, the 40-day harshest weather period when chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent. Chillai Kalan begins on December 21 and ends on January 30. The cold wave continues even after that with the 20-day ‘Chillai Khurd’ and the 10-day-long ‘Chillai Bachha’ following it.