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Rain, snowfall bring relief from scorching heat in Jammu

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Jammu, May 11:  Light rains and snowfall Saturday provided respite to Jammu residents, who were reeling under scorching summer conditions for the past week.

The day temperature in the city plummeted by over five notches to settle at 32.7 degrees Celsius after high altitude areas experienced light snowfall, while plains received rain.

The Meteorological department (MeT) has forecast light rain to thundershowers at several places in Jammu and Kashmir over the next 48 hours.

The light snowfall in Peer Ki Gali along Mughal Road briefly disrupted traffic between the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch and Shopian to the south.

Traffic interruption notwithstanding, over 2,500 vehicles crossed Jawahar Tunnel along Srinagar-Jammu national highway, officials said.

Officials said vehicular movement was affected by a fresh landslide and continuous shooting of stones from the hillocks overlooking the highway in Ramban sector.

Jammu, the winter capital of the state, had experienced the season’s highest and lowest day and night temperature on May 9 at a high of 40.1 degrees Celsius and 25.5 degrees Celsius, which was 3.3 notches and 2.5 notches above the season’s average respectively.

The residents of Jammu woke up to pleasant weather Saturday morning with heavy cloud cover and a light spell of rain bringing some relief from the blistering heat which has gripped the region since May 04.

Though the night-time temperature recorded in the city on Friday was 24.6 degrees Celsius, 1.1 degrees above normal, the day temperature marked a dip of 5.7 notches to settle at 32.7 degrees Celsius, which is 4.2 degrees below normal during this time of the year, a MeT official department said.

Jammu, which received light rains in the morning, had recorded maximum temperature of 38.4 degrees Celsius on Friday.

Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district, recorded 2.8 mm of rainfall during the day, resulting in considerable drop in the mercury, the official said, adding the town recorded a maximum of 26.9 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 22.8 degrees Celsius.

Batote town along Srinagar-Jammu national highway received 9.0 mm of rain, the highest in Jammu region. Nearby Banihal town received 5.0 mm of rains, the official said.

Officials said a fresh landslide which had blocked the highway at Digdole was cleared at around 11.30 am, and subsequently the stranded Kashmir-bound vehicles were allowed to move.

However, shooting stones from the nearby hillock impeded traffic movement.

The highway was closed on Wednesday after a massive landslide in Digdole area, leaving thousands of vehicles, including trucks carrying livestock, fresh fruit and vegetables, stranded.

Dozens of sheep along with a large number of chicken died, while huge quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables perished due to the closure of the highway, officials said.

The officials said traffic on the Mughal Road was also suspended this morning after overnight light snowfall in Peer Ki Gali area.

However, traffic was allowed around 2.30 pm after the road was cleared of the obstacles, they said.

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