Weatherman predicts heavy snowfall as wet spell begins

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Snowfall - Kashmir
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SRINAGAR — Amid the rising day temperature, Jammu and Kashmir would likely experience a fresh wet spell as the weatherman here has forecasted light to moderate snowfall from February 17 to 20.

In the meantime, the government has also started readying arrangements to avert disruption of utilities due to snow.

Director Meteorological Department (MeT), Dr Mukhtar Ahmad told the news agency KNO that there is a possibility of heavy to very heavy snowfall over the middle and higher reaches of Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Budgam and South Kashmir districts from February 19-20.

In Kashmir, Ahmad said on February 17, weather conditions are expected to remain partly to generally cloudy with the possibility of light snow at isolated higher reaches towards late night.

On February 18, he said, there is a possibility of light to moderate rain and snow at most places with heavy snowfall over isolated higher reaches of North, Northwestern, Central and South Kashmir.

On February 19-20, Ahmad said, there is a possibility of light to moderate rain and snow at most places of plains & lower reaches while the middle and higher reaches of Kupwara, Baramulla, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Budgam and South Kashmir districts would experience heavy to very heavy snowfall.

On February 21, he said, there is a possibility of intermittent light to moderate snowfall at many places till afternoon, late afternoon and gradual improvement thereafter.

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In Jammu region, he said, there is a possibility of light to moderate rain and snow over higher reaches with thunder and lightning at many places on February 18.

On February 19 and 20, Director MeT said that there is a possibility of intermittent light to moderate rain with thunder and lightning in the plains of Jammu with light to moderate snowfall over higher reaches with heavy snowfall over isolated higher reaches of Ramban, Poonch, Doda and Kishtwar.

“Intermittent light to moderate snow and rain is expected over many places till late afternoon, evening and gradual improvement thereafter on February 21,” he said.

The weatherman has, however, issued an advisory, saying that the system may lead to the temporary closure of roads of higher reaches and important passes like Sinthan Pass, Mughal Road, Sadhna & Razdan Pass, Zojila and others. He advised the travellers to plan accordingly.

Moreover, the Director MeT advised the farmers to withhold irrigation and fertilizer application & drain out excess water from orchards and fields during the above period. A significant drop in day temperature during the above period is expected, he said.

Meanwhile, the Mechanical Engineering Department (MED) Kashmir has urged people not to park their vehicles on the roadside.

Kaplesh Pandita, a senior officer at MED Kashmir, told KNO that the department is all geared up and has made all arrangements to ensure smooth snow clearance from the roads.

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“A mock drill has already been done, all men and machinery are ready. We urge people not to park their vehicles on the roadsides during the snowfall,” he said.

Another senior official looking into the functioning of the provincial control room said that they have activated 22 control and sub-control rooms across the valley and that all men and machinery are on standby mode.

“There are around 300 machines available with the mechanical and hospital engineering department and they are already stationed in all districts,” officials said.

He said that in district Srinagar alone, they have stationed over 40 machines to address any issues arising from the forecast weather conditions.

The official also said that in order to ensure no or least damage chances to the roads during snow clearance, they have procured high-tech snow clearance machines with plastic cartilage snow blades.

Moreover, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Vijay Kumar Bidhuri convened a meeting of Deputy Commissioners & Head of Civil Departments wherein he directed all the departments to keep men, materials and machinery ready to tackle any exigency that may emerge from the expected snowfall.

He also directed officers to mobilize their field staff for effective & timely response to any emergency.

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