Srinagar Dec 29 (KINS): Moderate snowfall occurred in higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir while it was lighter on the plains on Tuesday as the MET forecast improvement in weather from Wednesday.
The harsh winter patch of ‘Chillai Kalan’ will end on January 31. It is the snowfall during the Chillai Kalan that helps replenish all the perennial water reservoirs of both UTs.
It was zero degrees Celsius in Srinagar, Pahalgam was at minus 3 and Gulmarg minus 7.5.
Leh town of Ladakh was at minus 17.3, Kargil minus 16.4 and Drass was at minus 17.8 degrees Celsius.
Jammu city had 3.7, Katra 4.5, Batote minus 1.5, Bannihal 0.4 and Bhaderwah minus 1.9 as the minimum temperatures.
The snowfall brought hope to the local people linked with the tourism industry as they expect business to pick up around the New Year. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, tourism has been one the worst-hit sectors. According to the weather office, snowfall started in Srinagar around 7 am, several hours after it had begun in neighbouring Budgam and Pulwama districts. Snowfall was also going in Kulgam and Anantnag districts of south Kashmir. Gulmarg, the popular ski resort, recorded seven inches of fresh snowfall, while Pahalgam and Sonamarg resorts in central Kashmir received around three to four inches of snow each.
Gurez in north Kashmir recorded three inches of fresh snowfall, weather officials they said, adding that there are reports of snowfall in other areas in the upper reaches of Kashmir Valley as well. The area around the Jawahar Tunnel – on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway – also received snowfall since Monday but luckily the arterial road was open for traffic today. The snowfall ahead of the New Year has seen many domestic tourists and locals rushing to Gulmarg and Pahalgam, officials said.
Gulmarg saw more then 1,200 domestic tourist arrivals on Monday, while over 2,500 locals from various parts of the Valley were also at the skiing resort. The numbers are expected to rise over the next two days. Pahalgam resort is also seeing brisk footfall ahead of the New Year celebrations. (KINS)