Srinagar, 17 Oct : Plains in Kashmir witnessed heavy rains while light to moderate snowfall occurred for the third consecutive day on Tuesday. The traffic movement on the 270 kilometer Srinagar-Jammu highway remained disrupted due to shooting stones, landslides along multiple places on the highway, officials said.
The Meteorological Department has predicted significant improvement in prevailing weather conditions from Wednesday onward in the Himalayan region.
Director MeT, Sonam Lotus told Rising Kashmir that plains in Kashmir witnessed intermittent rains till late evening on Tuesday while upper reaches received moderate to light snowfall.
He said Gurez received 5 inches of fresh snowfall, Gulmarg 5 inches, Minamarg 8 inches, Sonamarg 6 inches, Mughal road 2-3 inches, Keran, 9 inches, Machil 8 inches and Sinthan top pass 8 inches.
Lotus said from Wednesday onward, they are expecting significant improvement in weather conditions and it will be mainly dry and clear during the next few days.
The downpour has resulted in a dip in night temperature across the valley as Gulmarg was the coldest place in Kashmir and settled at 3.4 degrees Celsius and 6.0 °C as maximum temperatures on Tuesday.
The Zojila Pass along the Srinagar-Ladakh Highway also received snowfall. Machines were seen clearing the snow from the strategic road link. Following the recent snowfall, temperatures have dropped significantly in the Valley.
Snowfall in the high altitude areas and rains in plains of Jammu region continued for the second day, triggering cold wave conditions.
Meanwhile Jammu Srinagar national highway remained blocked for several hours due to shooting stones at various places along the highway.
SSP Traffic, Rohit Baskotra said that the traffic on the NH44 between Jammu and Srinagar has been blocked since last night due to landslides at Dhalwas and Mehad near Cafeteria Mod and shooting stones at Trishul Mod.
"The road clearance operation has been going at war level and the traffic is expected to be restored soon subject to no further rainfall and no fresh landslides. Hundreds of vehicles have been stranded between Nashri and Banihal," he said.
The Mughal road, which connects Shopian in Kashmir Valley to Poonch, has been closed for traffic due to snowfall for the second consecutive day.
On Monday, Mughal road was blocked due to heavy snowfall in Pir ki Gali area.
Guldanda, Chatergalla pass in Bhaderwah (Doda), Mohu Mangat (Ramban), Pir Ki Gali (Poonch), Wardwan (Kishtwar) and Pir Panchal hills are among the areas that received snowfall.
The administration has shut schools in Ramban district due to bad weather conditions.
”In view of continuous rains since Monday, all schools up to higher secondary level in Ramban shall remain closed today”, a spokesperson said.
However, exams, if any, shall be held as per the notified date, he said. The weather office said light rain and snow can continue in some areas. Officials have advised people to stay away from landslide-prone areas and overflowing drains, he said.