Season’s first snowfall in Srinagar
Srinagar: Srinagar and other plain areas of Kashmir received this winter’s first snowfall on Thursday, bringing cheer to the residents.
The snowfall in the plain areas began late Wednesday night and continued till the morning at most places, officials said.
“It started as a mix of rain and snow late last night in Srinagar and other adjoining areas in the plains and by the morning, the valley was covered under a blanket of snow,” they said.
Srinagar received around two inches of snowfall, Anantnag town four inches, Qazigund nine, Pahalgam 10, Pulwama town two, Kulgam town three, Shopian town five, Ganderbal town two, Baramulla town three, Kupwara town four, and Gulmarg 14 inches, the officials said.
The higher reaches received moderate to heavy snowfall, they added.
It is the season’s first snowfall in the plains of the Kashmir valley, including in the summer capital Srinagar, which had experienced little precipitation so far this winter in the form of rains, the officials said.
The Kashmir valley witnessed a prolonged dry spell this winter with most of the Chilla-i-Kalan — the 40 day harsh winter period, when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent — remaining dry.
While some areas in the higher reaches had received light snowfall, most of the upper reaches experienced moderate snowfall at the fag-end of the Chilla-i-Kalan.
The snowfall at the end of Chilla-i-Kalan brought cheers to the tourists as well as the locals associated with the tourism sector.
Thursday’s snowfall shut down the Srinagar-Jammu national highway as it was blocked due to shooting stones between Ramsoo and Banihal. The alternate Mughal road and the Srinagar-Leh highway are closed for traffic due to snow accumulation.
However, the snowfall brought cheer to the residents.
“Finally, there is snow in the plains of Kashmir. We thank God for this blessing,” Mehraj Ahmad, a resident of the city here, said.
He expressed hope that the coming days will see more snowfall in the valley.
Irfan Ahmad, a resident of Ganderbal, said while the snowfall was the need of the hour for the valley as it was essential for sustenance.
“We witnessed a prolonged dry weather. Our glaciers have melted, there was hardly any snow left on the mountains before the recent snowfall. Snow is really important for our sustenance. Without it, our water resources would have dried up, it could have hit our horticulture especially fruit produce, and the dry spell resulted in many respiratory ailments. So, it is essential we have a good snowfall,” he said
The valley’s orchardists also expressed happiness over the snowfall.
“We thank God as the long wait is finally over and it is snowing across Kashmir. the snow is very beneficial for the farmers and orchardists. People in Kashmir were under distress because there was no snow in the plains which could have meant doom for the horticulture produce.
“However, the snowfall now has infused a new life into it and we hope there is more snow in the days to come,” a farmer in Kulgam said.
The MeT Office has said the weather would remain cloudy with light snow at few places till the afternoon and there would be a gradual improvement thereafter.
On Friday, the weather is likely to remain dry with a possibility of very light snow at isolated higher reaches.
There is a possibility of light to moderate snow/rain (in Jammu) at many places of J-K on February 3-4, and the weather is likely to remain dry thereafter till February 12, the weather office said.
Srinagar city recorded a minimum temperature of 0.2 degrees Celsius — down from 2.2 degrees Celsius on the previous night.
Pahalgam recorded a minimum temperature of minus 4.1 degrees Celsius, Qazigund minus 0.4 degrees Celsius, Kokernag minus 1.4 degrees Celsius and Kupwara minus 0.7 degrees Celsius.
Gulmarg registered a low of minus 7.6 degrees Celsius and was the coldest place in the valley.