Srinagar, Apr 22: The upper reaches, including the world-famous ski resort of Gulmarg and border town of Machil, received fresh snowfall while incessant rain lashed summer capital, Srinagar, and other parts of Kashmir valley on Thursday, resulting in a dip in the maximum and minimum temperatures.
A Met department spokesperson told UNI that heavy rain and thunderstorm would occur in J&K plains while higher reaches of Kashmir and Drass-Zojila area would receive snowfall till Thursday evening under the influence of a Western Disturbance (WD), which is active in the region. “There is high probability of thunderstorm and lightning with gusty winds (30-40 km/hour) at some places in Kashmir, Ramban-Banihal, Poonch-Rajouri Area during this time,” he added.
He said light rain and thundershowers would occur on Friday. “The weather is expected to remain dry for over a week from Saturday onwards,” he added.
Gulmarg, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir, received fresh intermittent snowfall since late-night, much to the delight of tourists, who were enjoying the ski resort. Gulmarg was the only place in the valley where the night temperature dipped and settled below the freezing point. Against 1.4 degrees, recorded on Wednesday, the night temperature dipped and settled at minus 0.5 degrees, which is about 4 degrees below normal. “It was still snowing in the ski resort, where the tourists are having a time of their lives. Many of them are experienced snowfall for the first time in their lives,” a hotelier told UNI over the phone.
But, he said the arrival of tourists has recorded a steep decline after a huge influx of visitors in the ski resort earlier this year. “Many booking for later this month have been canceled due to rise in COVID-19 cases,” he added.
He said tourists, who are arriving in the ski resort, are being tested for COVID-19 at Tangmarg.
Normal life was thrown out of gear in Srinagar, where the majority of the roads have been waterlogged due to incessant rain since early this morning, badly affecting vehicular and pedestrian movement. People in the city preferred to stay indoors as very few vehicles could be seen plying on the roads due to incessant rain and an unabated rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. The night temperature in the city dipped about 2 degrees from Wednesday and settled at 8.6 degrees, which is slightly below normal.
The spokesperson said that the skies will be generally cloudy to partly cloudy during the next 24 hours in Srinagar, where the maximum and minimum temperatures will be around 17 degrees and 8 degrees, respectively.
The border town of Machil and its adjoining areas in the north Kashmir district of Kupwara also received about a foot of fresh snowfall since late last night.
The world-famous health resort of Pahalgam also received intermittent light to moderate rain, resulting in a dip in the maximum and minimum temperatures. Against 5.3 degrees recorded on Wednesday, the night temperature dipped and settled at 3.3 degrees, which is slightly below normal. However, the Holy Amarnath Cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas and its periphery, Panjterni, Mahaguns, Sheshnag, and Pisso top received light snowfall.
Incessant rains lashed other parts of the valley, including in north, central, and south Kashmir. The mercury during the night at Qazigund, gateway to the valley, Kupwara in north Kashmir and the tourist resort of Kokernag dipped and settled at 4.6 degrees, 5 degrees, and 3.7 degrees, respectively.