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Mercury rises in Kashmir, flights disrupted

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28 flights out of 31 operated

Srinagar: The minimum temperature in Srinagar settled above the freezing point for the first time in over a month as the mercury rose at most places in Kashmir on Thursday, providing relief to the residents, even as the Valley experienced fresh snowfall, officials said.

Srinagar city recorded a low of 0.4 degrees Celsius last night, up from the previous night’s minus 0.4 degrees Celsius, the officials said.

They said it was for the first time in 37 days that the night temperature in the city settled above the freezing point.

The city had recorded zero degrees Celsius on December 29 last year and since then it was reeling under sub-zero minimum temperatures.

The cold wave had intensified across the Valley after heavy snowfall on January 03 and Srinagar recorded its lowest minimum temperature in 30 years on January 31 at minus 8.8 degrees Celsius.

Qazigund – the gateway town to the Valley – recorded a minimum of 0.8 degrees Celsius, three degrees up from minus 2.8 degrees Celsius the previous night, the officials said.

Pahalgam tourist resort in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 3.3 degrees Celsius – up from the previous night’s minus 3.9 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature at the Gulmarg skiing resort, in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, settled at minus 6.4 degrees Celsius last night — down from minus 5.2 degrees Celsius the previous night.

The resort was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir.

Kupwara town, in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 0.6 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature in Kokernag, in the south, settled at minus 5.1 degrees Celsius.

Most parts of Kashmir received fresh, light snowfall on Wednesday night, the officials said.

Srinagar recorded 1.2 cm of fresh snowfall while Pahalgam received 1.6 cm, they said.

Qazigund received around five inches of snow, Kulgam recorded five inches, and Shopian got four inches of snow, they added.

The officials said there are reports of fresh snowfall in many other areas in the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the Met office, there would be significant improvement in the weather from Thursday afternoon onwards while it is expected to stay mainly dry for the next one week.

The minimum temperature is likely to fall by two to three degrees, it said.

Meanwhile, the air traffic to and from Kashmir was affected for the second consecutive day on Thursday due to bad weather as most parts of the Valley received snowfall overnight, officials said.

“The flight operations at Srinagar airport were hampered as no flights have been able to land so far today due to bad weather,” the officials said.

They said the accumulation of snow on the runway and poor visibility affected the operations.

Earlier Airport Authorities in the morning confirmed on the Twitter morning flights are likely to be delayed due to snowfall.

Notably flight operations were also disrupted yesterday morning and many flights were cancelled due to snowfall and low visibility.

Officials said that flight operations at Srinagar Airport remained suspended till 12 noon due to low visibility.

“There were 31 Flight movements today out of which 28 flights operated today and 03 flights were cancelled at Srinagar Airport”,  officials said.

The flight operations at the airport were affected on Wednesday as well as most parts of the Valley received snowfall. As many as 14 flights were cancelled due to poor visibility.

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