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Minimum temperature dips in Kashmir valley

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Flight operations resume, road likely to be opened today

Srinagar:  The minimum temperature at most places in Kashmir decreased on Sunday after snowfall, but the clouds made way for the winter sun in the morning, officials said.

The MET Office has said the weather would improve gradually on Sunday and would remain mainly dry till the end of the month.

The night temperature in the Kashmir valley, except in Srinagar and Qazigund, went down on Saturday night, the officials said.

They said there are reports of very light snowfall or rain at most places of the valley during the night.

However, the weather started to improve this morning and the clouds made way for the winter sun, they added.

Srinagar city recorded a low of minus 1.9 degrees Celsius, slightly up from minus 2 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.

Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, recorded a minimum of 3 degrees Celsius, a degree up from the previous night, they said.

The minimum temperature at the Gulmarg skiing resort, in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, settled at minus 11 degrees Celsius on Saturday night, down from minus 4.8 degrees Celsius the night earlier.

Pahalgam tourist resort, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 12 degrees Celsius – over ten degrees down from the previous night’s minus 1.3 degrees Celsius.

Kupwara recorded a low of minus 4.2 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag, in south, minus 5.9 degrees Celsius.

Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai-Kalan’ — the 40-day harshest winter period when a cold wave grips the region and the temperature drops considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies including the famous Dal Lake here as well as the water supply lines in several parts of the valley.

The chances of snowfall are the most frequent and maximum during this period and most areas, especially in the higher reaches, receive heavy snowfall.

Meanwhile, the highway was cleared of multiple landslides between Nashri and Banihal, while the snow clearance operation is in progress on both the sides of Jawahar Tunnel, officials said adding that the road would be, most likely, thrown open today.

The road had been closed in the wake of the latest snowfall that had disrupted the moment as landslides had blocked the road at multiple locations.

Flight operations also resumed at the Srinagar airport on Sunday, a day after they were suspended in the wake of snowfall in the Kashmir valley, officials said.

Flight operations could not take place at the Srinagar airport on Saturday due to bad weather and all flights to and fro the airport were cancelled.

However, as the weather was dry on Sunday morning and the visibility improved, the flight operations were resumed.

“Air traffic has resumed at the airport even though there are some delays,” an official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said.

He said the flight operations resumed after the runway was cleared and the visibility improved.

The runway was not available for flight operations on Saturday due to the accumulation of snow after the valley received the third snowfall of the month. (with inputs from PTI)

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