Incessant snowfall and rains on Thursday led to the closure of the valley’s arterial Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and brought relief from a long spell of dry weather in Kashmir.
Traffic on the valley’s main highway that connects Srinagar and Jammu was suspended during the day due to landslides and heavy snowfall along the route. “In view of rain or snowfall at various places on the national highway and triggering of landslides, no fresh movement of traffic shall be allowed on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway till further orders,” a traffic police official said.
Several vehicles remained stranded on the highway between Udhampur and Banihal and road clearance operations continued during the day. Inclement weather also affected the normal life in valley with electricity remaining disrupted in many areas.
Heavy snowfall was witnessed in the upper reaches while rainfall interspersed with light snowfall was received in the plains including summer capital Srinagar. An official in the local Meterological department said the weather was likely to improve from Friday afternoon.
While Srinagar witnessed 15 mm of rain and snow during the day, the highest snowfall was recorded in tourist destination Gulmarg where 40 cm of snow was received till 1730 hours. Pahalgam in south Kashmir received 2 cm of snow and 4cm of snow was recorded in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, according to a MeT department spokesperson.
Gulmarg witnessed a minimum temperature of minus 4.5 degree Celsius and was coldest in the valley. Srinagar recorded a maximum temperature of 5.3 degree Celsius during the day while the minimum was recorded at 1.3 degree.
Kashmir had witnessed a dry weather since last month and caused concern among the residents in valley with many complaining about the absent snow and apparent climate change.