PULWAMA — Kashmir valley’s lowlands witnessed the season’s first snowfall since Friday morning, thereby affecting normal life.

Most parts of Kashmir received fresh snowfall and rains, leading to the closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and impacting flight operations to and fro the Valley. While the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir experienced moderate to heavy snowfall, many areas in the plains received light to moderate snowfall.

According to the local meteorological department, till 1430 hours, Srinagar received 2cm, Pahalgam 28cm, Kokernag 23cm, Qazigund 10 cm, Kupwara 5cm, Bhaderwah 2cm and Batote 2.7cm.

Pertinently, Kashmir is under the grip of Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day-long harsh winter period that starts on December 21.

From January 14-18, a MeT official said, mainly dry weather was expected. “From January 19-20, a fresh WD (Western Disturbance) is likely to affect J&K and adjoining areas.”

Meanwhile, he said, Srinagar recorded a low of 1.0°C against last night’s minus 0.2°C. Today’s minimum temperature was 3.1°C above normal for the summer capital, he said.

Qazigund, he said, recorded a low of 0.2°C against minus 0.4°C and it was 3.3°C above normal for the gateway town.

Pahalgam recorded a low of minus 2.4°C against minus 1.7°C on the previous night and it was 4.7°C above normal for the place, he said. The coldest night recorded this season in the famous tourist resort in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district was on January 2 when the mercury plunged to minus 9.6°C.

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Kokernag recorded a low of minus 0.2°C against minus 2.8°C on the previous night, he said. It was 3.4°C above normal for the place.

Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 0.6°C against minus 5.5°C on the previous night, the official said. It was 7.3°C above normal for the world-famous skiing resort in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district that saw its coldest night this season on January 2 when the minimum temperature plummeted to minus 10.0°C, the official said.

In Kupwara town, the mercury settled at minus 0.7°C against minus 0.4°C on the previous night and it was 2.2°C above normal in the north Kashmir area, he said.

Jammu, which received 13mm of rainfall in the 24 hours, recorded a low of 7.5°C against 6.6°C on the previous night. It was 0.5°C above normal for J&K’s winter capital, he said.

Banihal received 15.2mm of rain and recorded a low of 0.2°C (above normal by 0.3°C), Batote, had 17mm of rain and recorded a low of 0.8°C (below normal by 2.4°C), Katra received 12.8mm of rain and recorded a low of 76°C (1.7°C above normal) and Bhadarwah received 7.6mm of rain and recorded the minimum of minus 0.4°C (0.7°C above normal).

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Heavy snowfall cuts off Kashmir

Kashmir valley has been cut off from the outside world as all flights to and fro Srinagar airport have been cancelled due to heavy snowfall, officials said.

The Jammu-Srinagar national highway, the major surface link connecting Kashmir valley with the outside world, was closed due to shooting stones and mudslides in Ramban district, they said.

Meanwhile, a traffic department official here said shooting stones and boulders continue to disrupt traffic on the highway at Mehar Ramban. “Clearance work is underway on the highway. People are advised to undertake journey on the highway only after confirming status from traffic control units,” the traffic department official said in a tweet. There was also a mudslide near Mehar.

The news agency GNS reported that an official at the traffic control unit at around 1600 hours informed that the highway was closed.

Mughal road, connecting the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri with Shopian, as well as the Srinagar-Leh highway has been already closed for this winter.

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