Fresh snowfall in many higher areas of Kashmir

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Srinagar: Many areas in the higher reaches of Kashmir received fresh snowfall, while the plains were lashed by rains, officials said on Wednesday.

The tourist resorts of Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam received fresh light to moderate snowfall overnight, which was going on when last reports came in, they said.

They said the snowfall was also recorded in Anantnag district’s Kokernag, Handwara in Kupwara, and Gurez in Bandipora district.

There are reports of fresh snowfall in other areas in the higher reaches of Jammu and Kashmir, including along the Zojila axis on the Srinagar-Leh highway, the officials added.

The weather office has forecast a possibility of light to moderate rain/snow at many places in the Union Territory on Wednesday and Thursday, with chances of heavy snowfall over a few higher reaches in Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Ganderbal, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag districts.

The weather would remain mainly dry with a possibility of very light snow at isolated higher reaches on February 2. From February 3 to 4, there is a possibility of light to moderate rain or snow in several places, following which the weather would remain dry till February 10.

The 40-day harsh winter period known as ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ ended on Tuesday with no snowfall in the plains of Kashmir and below-normal precipitation in the higher reaches of the valley.

While there was light to moderate snowfall in the higher reaches of the valley at the fag-end of the 40-day period, most of the Chilla-i-Kalan — when the chances of snowfall are maximum and most frequent — remained dry.

The valley witnessed a prolonged dry spell this winter, with no snowfall in the plains.

During the 40-day harsh winter period, a cold wave sweeps the region and temperatures drop considerably leading to the freezing of water bodies and water in supply pipes.

The cold conditions continue in Kashmir even after the culmination of ‘Chilla-i-Kalan’ with a 20-day ‘Chilla-i-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day ‘Chilla-i-Bachha’ (baby cold).

Meanwhile, there was an improvement in the night temperature across the Kashmir valley.

Srinagar city, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of 2.2 degrees Celsius – up from 0.8 degrees Celsius on the previous night.

Pahalgam recorded a minimum temperature of 0.1 degrees Celsius, Qazigund 0.4 degrees Celsius, Kokernag minus 0.2 degrees Celsius and Kupwara 1.3 degrees Celsius.

Gulmarg registered a low of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius – up from minus 6 degrees Celsius and was the coldest place in the valley.

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