Srinagar, Oct 16: Higher reaches of Kashmir received fresh snowfall, while rains lashed plains for second consecutive day on Monday. The Meteorological Department has predicted improvement in prevailing weather conditions from 18th October in the Himalayan region, officials said.
Director MeT, Sonam Lotus told Rising Kashmir that Kashmir witnessed intermittent rains while upper reaches received moderate snowfall till Monday late evening.
He said Gurez received six inches of fresh snowfall on Monday, Gulmarg two inches, Minamarg four inches, Sonamarg 2-3 inches, Mughal road 6-8 inches, Keran, five inches, Machil three inches and Sinthan top pass five inches.
“On Tuesday, there is a forecast of light rain, snowfall (over higher reaches) likely at scattered places. Overall there will be significant improvement in weather conditions after 18th October onwards," Lotus said.
As per the MeT advisory, snowfall and low temperature may lead to temporary disruption of surface transportation mainly over Zojila, Jammu-Srinagar highway, Leh-Manali road and other highways in the region.
“People are advised to check the status of these roads from traffic police prior to embarking on a journey to avoid inconveniences,” it said.
However, rains drenched plains for the third consecutive day, Srinagar recorded 20 mm of rainfall during the past 24 hours, Gulmarg 29.6 mm, Qazigund 30.3 mm, Kupwara 17.8 mm, and Pahalgam 19.1 mm, and Kokernag 16.6 mm.
Several areas of Doda, Kishtwar, Rajouri, Reasi, Poonch, Ramban and Kathua districts witnessed snowfall.
The downpour has resulted in a dip in night temperature across the valley as Gulmarg was the coldest place in Kashmir and settled at minus 2.4 degrees Celsius and 8.0 °C as maximum temperatures on Monday.
Srinagar recorded 12.2°C and a minimum of 8.1 °C degrees. Qazigund recorded a maximum of 15.1°C respectively and 11. 8° C as the minimum temperature.
Kupwara in north Kashmir recorded maximum temperatures of 7.5°C, while minimum temperatures settled at 6.6 °C respectively.
Meanwhile, in view of prevailing weather conditions, the Kupwara administration issued a weather advisory for residents living on the periphery of various Nallahs/rivers that are prone to sliding and flash floods.
The advisory recommends refraining from venturing into these areas until the weather conditions improve.
"Based on the forecast provided by the Meteorological Department, there is a likelihood of moderate snowfall in higher altitudes and possible rain over the plains of Jammu & Kashmir between October 16th to 17th, 2023. These weather patterns are expected due to the influence of western disturbances," it said.
The advisory reads that general public, particularly those residing in areas such as Keran, Karnah, Machil, Budnamal, Jumugund, Nowgam, Kumkadi, and those living on the periphery of various Nallahs/rivers prone to sliding and flash floods, should avoid entering these areas until the weather improves.
"In case of any information or assistance required, the General Public can reach out to the Disaster Management Control Room at the DC Office Kupwara or the Police Control Room in Kupwara and Handwara," it said.
Meanwhile the historic Mughal road has been blocked for traffic movement due to heavy snowfall in the Pir ki Gali area.
A traffic police officer said that no vehicle will be allowed to move towards the valley from Poonch and Rajouri areas till the weather clears up.
"Both men and machinery are on job to restore the highway on priority basis," he said.
After a brief blockage due to snowfall, traffic movement was restored on Srinagar-Leh highway.
Later due to improvement in weather conditions across Zojila, traffic has now been released from Minamarg towards Srinagar.
Meanwhile, a traffic police spokesman said subject to fair weather and better road conditions on Tuesday LMVs Passenger/Private Cars/HMVs/Load Carriers shall be allowed from both sides on Jammu-Srinagar NHW (NH-44) viz Jammu towards Srinagar and vice-versa. Commuters are advised to follow lane discipline, he said.
On Sonamarg-Leh road, vehicular movement shall be allowed from both sides viz Srinagar towards Kargil and vice-versa. LMVs followed by HMVs shall be allowed from Minamarg towards Srinagar at 0730 hrs. to 1100 hrs.
Similarly, LMVs followed by HMVs shall be allowed from Sonamarg towards Kargil at 1300 hrs to 1700 hrs. No vehicle shall be allowed after cut off timings, the spokesman said.
He said SFs Convoy, plying from Srinagar to Kargil, shall leave Srinagar at 0800 hrs. SFs Convoy plying from Drass to Srinagar shall plan their movement in such a manner so that Civil Traffic doesn't get disturbed.