The Srinagar-Jammu national highway connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country remained closed for the third consecutive day on Thursday as the Valley and Ladakh region reeled under intense cold conditions with the night temperature in Pahalgam plunging to the season’s lowest of minus 12.2 degrees Celsius.
“The National Highway is closed for the day,but the stranded vehicles will be allowed to move towards Srinagar later in the day. However,no fresh traffic will be allowed to ply on the highway today,” a spokesman of the traffic department said.
The 294-km road,only all weather road link between Kashmir and rest of the world,was closed on Tuesday following heavy snowfall across the Valley.
After showing an upward trend for two days,the mercury across the Valley dipped several degrees last night owing to clear skies.
“The minimum temperature in Pahalgam,in south Kashmir,dipped by nearly eight degrees to settle at minus 12.2 degrees Celsius compared to minus 4.6 degrees Celsius the previous night,” a MeT Department official said.
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It was the coldest night of the season so far in the tourist resort.
The famous ski-resort of Gulmarg registered a low of minus 11.0 degrees Celsius,the official said.
The mercury in Srinagar,the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir,settled at minus 2.1 degrees Celsius,down from the previous night’s 1.3 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Qazigund – the gateway town to Kashmir Valley – was minus 2.8 degrees Celsius,while the mercury fell to a low of minus 6.4 degrees Celsius in Kokernag and minus 4.4 degrees Celsius in Kupwara,the official said.
Leh,in Ladakh region,recorded a low of minus 15.3 degrees Celsius,more than eight degrees down from the previous night’s minus 7.2 degrees Celsius.
Kargil recorded a low of minus 11.6 degrees Celsius,the official said.
The weatherman has forecast light snow or rainfall across the Valley over the next 24 hours.