Fresh snowfall closes national highway, affects flight operations
Srinagar: Fresh snowfall and rains in parts of Kashmir on Friday led to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and affected the flight operations to and from the Srinagar airport, virtually snapping Kashmir’s connection with the rest of the world.
While the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir experienced moderate to heavy snowfall, officials said many areas in the plains received light to moderate snowfall.
The fresh snowfall started early in the morning and continued till the last reports came in.
The ski resort of Gulmarg, tourist resorts of Pahalgam and Sonamarg, and many other places experienced fresh snowfall, they said.
Srinagar also received snowfall and intermittent rains.
The inclement weather has resulted in the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the officials said.
The highway was closed to traffic due to landslides in the Mehar area of Ramban district and slippery road conditions, they said.
The officials said road clearance operations are going on but continuous snowfall and rain are making the job difficult.
The weather conditions also affected the air traffic at the Srinagar airport here, they said.
While flight operations took place in the morning, the operations were affected after 9 am. Several flights have been delayed due to low visibility, the officials said.
The operations will resume after the visibility improves, they said early in the day. However, later it was announced that “all flights for today at our airport have been cancelled due to continuous bad weather.”
They said the passengers of the cancelled flights would be accommodated by the respective airlines on the next available flight “at no extra cost”.
Meanwhile, the wet weather pushed the night temperature up at most places in the Valley.
The mercury settled above the freezing point in Srinagar and Qazigund.
Srinagar recorded a low of 1 degree Celsius on Thursday night, up from minus 0.2 degrees the night before, the officials said.
Qazigund, the gateway to the Valley, registered a minimum temperature of 0.2 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 0.2 degrees, they said.
The minimum in Kupwara, a frontier district, settled above the freezing point at a low of minus 0.7 degrees.
Pahalgam in Anantnag district registered a low of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius.
The minimum temperature in Gulmarg in Baramulla district was recorded at minus 0.6 degrees Celsius, up from minus 5.5 degrees Celsius, the officials said.
The MeT Office had said that fairly widespread light rain in the plains of Kashmir and Jammu divisions and light to moderate snow over the higher reaches is expected on Friday.
The weather will remain mainly dry from Saturday till January 18.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai Kalan’, the 40-day harshest weather period when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent.